Firefox 4 to arrive by end of February

Mozilla is hoping to ship Firefox 4 by the end of next month.

Firefox 4 to arrive by end of February

The much-awaited update to the open-source browser has been delayed from its original expected arrival last year.

While that’s given rival Google Chrome time to slip ahead in terms of features and gain market share, Firefox 4 will probably still arrive ahead of the final version of Internet Explorer 9.

“We’ve worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it’s time to ship it,” wrote head of Mozilla platform engineering Damon Sicore in a message to Mozilla developers. “I’m seeing the same burst of excitement and activity that we’ve seen in the endgame of every release.”

Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass, and you should be fiercely proud of it

He said developers had made a list of 160 “hard blockers” – those bugs that must be fixed before the browser is released, with it usually taking six weeks to hit release candidate for every 100 blockers.

“We must press hard now,” he urged. “We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February.”

However, Sicore said that the high number of bugs meant there was likely to be another beta first, which was set to be the now-delayed ninth beta, which has been pushed back from yesterday’s expected release.

He called for all hands on deck for testing, especially for plugins such as Silverlight and Flash, as well as hardware acceleration.

Sicore finished up the note saying the new browser was an “amazing product.” He added: “Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass, and you should be fiercely proud of it.”

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