New Firefox beta released

The Mozilla Foundation has released a second beta of the Firefox 1.5 Web browser that, like the first version released last month, focuses on tackling nagging security issues.

Beta 2 became available on Friday for download. The release comes just a month after Beta 1 of the browser became available publicly. Version 1.5 is Firefox's first major update since the browser officially debuted last year.

Mozilla noted on its Web site that the latest beta "does not contain any major new features since Beta 1. Improvements to automated updated system, Web site rendering and performance, along with several security fixes, are included in this release."

Although Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser has in the past received more criticism for security holes than Firefox, the latter browser has also come under fire. In its semiannual report about Internet security threats, IT security vendor Symantec said last month that Firefox had more confirmed vulnerabilities in the first six months of the year than did Internet Explorer.

Symantec said that doesn't necessarily mean that Firefox is less secure than proponents have claimed or that Internet Explorer is safer than many users believe.

Firefox has quickly become a challenger to the dominance of Internet Explorer. According to July data from, a monitor of Web site usage, Firefox was used by 8.1 percent, while Internet Explorer was used by 87.2 percent. Apple Computer's Safari, available only for Mac OS X, had 2.1 percent of users. But Firefox's market share actually fell more than half a percentage point from April, according to NetApplications.

Meanwhile, WebSideStory reported last month that Firefox's market share grew just a single percentage point in five months, to 7.9 percent at the beginning of September.

Mozilla officials said at Firefox's launch last October that they expected to garner 10 percent of the market by the end of 2005.

The final release of Firefox 1.5 is expected by year's end.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is now testing the first beta of its updated Internet Explorer 7 with Web developers. Internet Explorer 7 promises improved security against viruses and spyware, including protection against so-called phishing attacks designed to steal users' personal data. It also replicates popular usability features in Firefox such as tabbed browsing.

Microsoft is expected to release the final version of IE 7 to the public by next spring.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?