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24 Apr 12 Firefox 12 released, takes Chrome mimicry to the next level


Firefox logo (huge)

Though version numbers are fairly meaningless at this point, I am happy to announce that Firefox 12 has been officially released. There are two major changes: Moving forward, Firefox (on Windows) will automatically (and silently) update, and — praise be — the Find function is now a lot better at centering the page on any matches.

The ability to silently update very closely mirrors Chrome, and really it’s a surprise that Mozilla has taken so long to introduce this key feature, after switching to the six-week rapid release cycle almost a year ago, with Firefox 5. While making the update process opt-in sounds like the right thing to do, it has basically resulted in a very fragmented install base. When Chrome updates, almost everyone immediately moves to the new version — Mozilla, on the other hand, now has lots and lots of users spread out across a huge range of browsers, dating all the way back to Firefox 3.

Firefox Software Updater UACWhen you install Firefox 12, Windows UAC will ask you to approve Firefox Software Updater — and after that, you should never see an update dialog ever again.

Updated @ 14:55: You can disable automatic updates by going to Options Advanced Updates.

Unfortunately, despite what we previously reported, neither the New Tab Page or Home Tab made it into Firefox 12. Both features should arrive with Firefox 13, however — in just six weeks from now!

Firefox 14 favicon changeIn other news, the latest Nightly version of Firefox 14 has removed favicons from the address bar; the icon will now simply display a globe, or a padlock if the site is SSL-secured — just like Chrome. This is primarily a security fix: Nefarious websites could use a padlock favicon to trick users into thinking that the site is secure.

You can download Firefox 12 from the official website, or if you already use Firefox your browser should prompt you to update soon. Check out the official Mozilla blog for the full release notes.

Article source: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/127295-firefox-12-released-takes-chrome-mimicry-to-the-next-level

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