Well, took them long enough. Mozilla has released the first beta of Firefox 4, the upcoming update to the second-most popular browser. As you can tell, it is a substantial redesign to the user interface, taking on what Google Chrome (and now Opera) has done by moving the tabs at the top. Other improvements is a new Add-Ons manager and improvements on how HD video is played using HTML5.
It also supports the new WebM format, and has now a crash protection feature so that you can still browse the web even when a plugin crashes or freezes. For developers, Mozilla has even given you the “big chart o’ features” to list what it supports – including some new HTML5 and CSS3 additions (though not to the same extent as what Safari offers).
It also offered what to expect in the full version, with full integration with Mozilla Sync right from the box, additional speed improvements, new privacy controls and a new accounts manager. For developers, a web inspector will be included.
You can download the beta on its website here. Just make sure you keep your current Firefox version, as many of those plugins won’t support Version 4 just yet.