Usually not much happens to a software product from one point release to the next, much less one beta version to the next. But Mozilla has made quite a few changes with the second beta of Firefox 3.1, released Monday.
In the new version are support for video and audio built into Web pages, a built-in private browsing, support for more powerful Web-based programs, and my favorite feature, the used to build sophisticated Web sites. TraceMonkey was released before, but now it's switched on by default.if users permit it,
The finished 3.1 version, code-named Shiretoko, is expected to arrive in early 2009 after a third beta, Mozilla has said. It arrives during a period of hot activity for browsers.
Apple is promoting its Safari browser for Windows as well as Mac OS X. Microsoft, the leader of the market, plans to . And of course the biggest change is the arrival of , an open-source project that, like Safari, uses uses a project called WebKit for interpreting and displaying the basic HTML code used to describe Web pages. (Updated 10:05 p.m. PST to clarify that Chrome, not Firefox, uses WebKit.)
is unfazed by the competition, though. Largely because of search-ad-related revenue from Google, the organization behind Firefox, the .