Mozilla Delays Release of Firefox 4 Until 2011
Following a nasty  zero-day flaw exploited in malware downloads, as well as general difficulty around releasing the first full-featured beta, Mozilla's updated Firefox 4 schedule shows that release of the browser has been pushed back from late 2010 to 2011. 

While it's easy to jump to conclusions, Mike Beltzner, vice president of engineering for Firefox, claims neither development nor progress on Firefox 4 has slowed. 

"...based on the delays in completing the 'feature complete' Beta 7 milestone against which our add-on developers and third-party software developers can develop, as well as considering the amount of work remaining to prepare Firefox 4 for final release, we have revised our beta and release candidate schedule," he said.

Instead, plans to kick out beta milestones, which Beltzner claims have been most helpful, continue through the end of December: "Our estimate is now that release candidate builds will ship in early 2011, with a final release date close behind."

Firefox Minis

Six beta versions of Firefox 4 have appeared in recent weeks, but it seems something big is holding up beta 7. One notable roadblock is the integration of Firefox's older Tracemonkey engine for running Web-based JavaScript programs, and the new JaegerMonkey engine.

Learning Opportunities

And let's not forget about a recent -- and very serious -- vulnerability. Here's Mozilla's description:

Morten Kråkvik of Telenor SOC reported an exploit targeting particular versions of Firefox 3.6 on Windows XP that Telenor found while investigating an intrusion attempt on a customer network. The underlying vulnerability, however, was present on both the Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3.6 development branches and affected all supported platforms. 

The virus is known as Belmoo, a Windows Trojan that gives the attacker complete control of the machine. Reportedly, Firefox users researching the Nobel Peace Prize were silently infected.

But, back to the good stuff. In addition to the JaegerMonkey engine, other changes to Firefox 4 include a revamped interface, a Microsoft Bing search option, hardware-accelerated graphics, an HTML5 parser, and WebGL for 3D Web graphics. Also, Firefox 4 will work on Google's Android OS.

Though it's currently a bit slow going, it looks like the browser wars are back in town, ey?