Another six weeks have gone by, which means that it's time for a new Firefox release: Firefox 8.0 was moved to the stable release channel today, and it features a few more visible improvements over Firefox 7.0, which brought mostly under-the-hood updates.

Most of the user-facing changes involve add-ons: a new add-on selection dialog box is shown at first launch, giving users to option to enable and disable add-ons. Most automatically installed third-party add-ons (such as those added by Skype, Acrobat Pro, and other less legitimate programs) are now disabled by default, though they can be re-enabled manually. Add-ons installed by users will usually be unaffected by this decision, which seems to be an IE9-like effort on Mozilla's part to keep the browser running smoothly by disabling unwanted or potentially buggy add-ons.

Additionally, users who like the tabs from previous browsing sessions to load automatically can now turn on a feature in the browser's preferences that doesn't load the contents of tabs until those tabs are selected, reducing the time it takes to re-open a busy browsing session.

Lastly, heavy Twitter users may appreciate the fact that the microblogging site has now been added as a search option by default, alongside long-standing search options like Google and Wikipedia.

Under the hood, Mozilla has made performance and memory improvements when using the <audio> and <video> tags, has added support for HTML5 context menus, and has fixed security and stability issues, among a few other things. For a complete list of changes, the release notes are linked below for your convenience.

Source: Mozilla

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  • rstove02 - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    I remember when minor updates resulted in one of the numbers to the right of the first decimal point increasing.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    Blame Google and Chrome. :-\

    Welcome to Firefox 4.3.1, a.k.a. Firefox 8.
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    So you're saying mozilla can't think for itself and do what it wants to?
  • Belard - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    There have been more changes in Opera 11.50 ~ 11.52 than firefox 4.0~"8.0".

    And still, Opera kicks Chrome and ff in features and functionality... and stupid ff team went so far and copied the look of Opera to their browser, that is how lame they are are.

    An Awesome feature of Opera... ever close the wrong window with tabs? Or closed tabs hours ago and then realize you needed a tab? Opera allows you to easily bring it back.

    Tab Grouping rocks on Opera.
  • bigboxes - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Put down the fanboi sauce. :eyeroll
  • inighthawki - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    This is retarded. They are trying too hard to be chrome. I choose to use Firefox because it's NOT chrome, so stop trying to copy what they do!
  • JHBoricua - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    What's retarded is ppl getting worked up over something so silly as a version number. I use Firefox simply because it works for me. I couldn't care less about the version scheme.
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    Except some uses (especially corporate environments and corporate-made web apps) have policies based on "major version" numbers.

    My company's web-managed app only has Firefox 3 as the latest approved Firefox. Our software gives nasty warnings if you're running too new a version. We only add new versions about once every six months to one year. And, of course, it requires testing. So we'll probably have FF6 (MAYBE 7) supported in our next release.

    It doesn't just inconvenience US, it annoys our customers. The fact that Firefox said "we don't care about the corporate user" doesn't matter.

    Hell, *I* like to use Firefox, but my own test environment bitches at me every time I try to. (Of course, we don't support Chrome at all.)
  • locust76 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Don't forget that every single add-on breaks and must be updated when they release a new major version...
  • Obsoleet - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Get this and never have that problem again.

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