It’s version 10. Do you know where your Firefox is?
Yes, rev up your update engines. Firefox 10 — the latest in a dizzying series of upgrades — is now available for your browsing pleasure.
This is Mozilla’s seventh major browser release in the last 10 months. After releasing Firefox 4 in March 2011, Mozilla adopted a rapid release schedule similar to the cycle Google employs with its Chrome browser.
The new schedule means that users get a new version of Firefox every six weeks, rather than every two to three years.
Like other recent releases, Firefox 10 focuses on under-the-hood enhancements and bug fixes, rather than scads of new features or changes to the user interface.
Still, Mozilla has added some new front-facing features to Firefox 10, including improvements to add-on compatibility and built-in developer tools.
Firefox now automatically marks add-ons as compatible with the browser without requiring add-on developers to code support by hand. The browser also automatically checks for add-on updates every 24 hours.
As for the developer tools, Firefox 10 now includes a tightly-integrated set of CSS, HTML and DOM inspectors. This allows web developers to quickly zero in on any portion of a live (or locally hosted) web page and enable real-time previewing.
If you’re familiar with WebKit’s Web Inspector in Safari and Chrome, you’ll feel right at home with Firefox 10′s tool suite. It won’t replace add-ons like Firebug for advanced developers, but it’s a great lightweight, built-in option.
Below is a video that Mozilla created to show off the new developer tools in Firefox 10:
When Firefox announced its decision to switch to a more frequent update cycle, some enterprise users criticized Mozilla, pointing out that frequent browser updates are untenable for organizations that need to follow strict rules for basic software updates.
With Firefox 10, Mozilla is offering those users access to what it calls “Firefox ESR,” or Extended Support Release. Organizations that use Firefox ESR will get support and updates for 42 weeks, rather than the standard six. Security updates will still be pushed out on schedule.
What do you think of Firefox 10? Is it enough to win you back from Chrome, Safari or IE 9? Let us know in the comments.