Firefox 8.0

Mozilla has finished work on Firefox 8, the latest version of the company’s popular web browser. Since switching to a rapid release schedule, new versions of the browser don’t always pack exciting new features — and Firefox 8 is a pretty minor update. But it does have a few nice improvements.

The browser will officially launch later this week, but you an already download the latest version for Windows, Mac, or Linux from the Mozilla FTP site.

The new browser features an option that lets you select Twitter as the default search engine. That lets you search Twitter from the search box (or by highlighting a word on a web page and using the right-click context menu to search Twitter for that word.

Firefox 8 also loads browser tabs on demand — so if you have the browser set to load multiple tabs at startup, it won’t actually use system resources trying to load all of those pages at once. Instead, when you fire up the browser it will show browser tabs for as many pages as you want — but it will only actually load the website that’s currently active.

Then when you switch to another browser tab, Firefox 8 will load that page.

Another change in Firefox 8 is that when you first run the browser after upgrading from an earlier version, it will scan your add-ons for any that were installed by third party software and disables them. This will help get rid of browser toolbars and other items that you never meant to install — although you can re-enable them at any time if you like.

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