Firefox 8 Launches with Built-in Twitter Search, Smarter Add-On Management & Better WebGL Support

Mozilla today announced that version 8 of its Firefox browser is now available. This update makes Twitter Search a first-class citizen in the Firefox search bar. With today’s update, Twitter will appear as a search option for Firefox users on Mac, Windows and Linux. Also new in this version is a new safety mechanism that prevents third-party software from installing add-ons that you likely weren’t interested in anyway, as well as better support for WebGL, a technology that allows developers to render 3D graphics in your browser.

Keeping Annoying Add-Ons at Bay

Maybe the most significant feature here is that third-party software now can’t just install add-ons anymore. Quite a few developers have turned to installing annoying add-ons (often these are toolbars related to paid search) as a means of monetizing their software. Most of the time, though, this software is not something users would ever install on their own.

Firefox 8 automatically disables all of these tools unless the user has explicitly opted in to the addition. Once you install the update, Firefox will also ask you to check whether you want to keep any current add-ons that were installed by third-party software previous to the update.


imageRelease Fast, Release Often

Mozilla switched to a significantly faster release cycle for Firefox earlier this year. This means that users get a significantly larger number of updates every year, but also that every update doesn’t include as many new features as the jump from version 3 to 4, for example. There has been some resistance against this move, as it makes managing corporate computers harder for IT departments, but for consumers, this is definitely a good move. Instead of having to wait months before new features become available, this new release schedule keeps Firefox at the forefront of developments on the web.