Firefox 2 beta 1 sees light of day

Mozilla has released the first beta of version two of the popular Firefox browser.

Firefox 2 beta 1 sees light of day

The beta features an anti-phishing tool that is turned on by default. In the same vein as Microsoft’s upcoming Internet Explorer 7, the technology checks URLs against a list of known phishing sites. Should a positive match be found, the user is informed and given the option to return to their homepage instead.

The list of known phishing sites is updated via submissions from Firefox users, including the removal of listed sites that have been found genuine. In this beta phase, Mozilla points out that the list is not by any means exhaustive.

Firefox 2 beta 1 also boasts better support for RSS technologies, with improved preview and options for feeds once detected. The browser will offer the option to sign up to RSS feeds as a web service, or within a standalone reader, or by using the Live Bookmarks feature in Firefox.

In terms of web services, Firefox 2 has My Yahoo!, Bloglines, and Google Reader pre-installed, although Mozilla says more may be included at the final launch.

Bookmarks will also be updated to include microsummaries – which will display key information alongside the entry. For example, a bookmarked eBay item will show updated bid prices and remaining time.

The browser should also be more robust. Technologies have been built in to allow the user to restore accidentally closed tabs, as well as an entire session after a crash. Support for extensions has also been improved for better security, while a new manager makes it easier to deal with themes and extensions. JavaScript support has been updated to version 1.7.

The beta boasts all the features to be included in the final release. Beta 2, which should be available in a month or so, will ultimately define the product, after which a series of release candidates will deal with bug fixes. A final product will be launched at the end of the summer.

More details and links to download the current beta is available on the Mozilla website, although the organisation says the beta is strictly for developer use only and is not quite ready for the wear and tear of everyday use.

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