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As with its other alpha builds of Firefox 3, aka "Gran Paradiso," Mozilla warns casual users to wait to download until the final version is available. Alpha builds appeal mainly to developers and programmers and may not be stable enough for day-to-day use. That said, the latest build, alpha 8, shows off some--but not all--of the new security features expected in the final release, due in early 2008.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staff

After you download and install the browser, you won't see many feature changes right away. Mozilla cites the changes, and in alpha 8 most of the changes are internal code tweaks.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

However, one rather obvious interface change is the relocation of the bookmark option to the end of the address bar. Whether this lasts to the final version remains to be seen, but we appreciate the ease of use in bookmarking that we've seen so far in this build.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

It won't be until Firefox 3 gets into its beta releases that we'll see the much-talked-about Places. That's a feature that will include bookmarks and history, and an enhanced means to search and organize them. But for the last few alphas, we have had the ability to sort.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

New in this alpha build are enhancements to the messaging Firefox gives users when trouble is detected. Mozilla provided a test page that produces this hard-to-miss warning that the site might be dangerous to visit.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

In addition, you can enable additional warnings, such as when you view an encrypted page, when you leave an encrypted page for one that is not, or when you view a page that's a mix of both encrypted and unencrypted information. We expect to see at least one more alpha build before the first beta build of Firefox 3, expected sometime before the end of the year.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks
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