Firefox Off to a Fast Start

On January 18th, Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 18, the latest version of its open-source web browser. This version of the popular browser touts a speed, graphics and networking improvement over its predecessors.  Firefox 18 was designed to help keep up with the popularity of browsers like Google’s Chrome and others.

Mozilla has added a new JavaScript engine called IonMonkey that uses intermediate compilation to check code and optimize it for faster final output. Mozilla has plans to release its new Firefox OS for phones later this year and hopes the new changes will will result in a larger market share. Firefox users may download the new version from Mozilla’s website or through Firefox’s automatic update mechanism.

David Anderson, a Mozilla engineer, says IonMonkey actually increases speed of its browser by 26%.  To catch up with Chrome, Anderson says, “We still have a long way to go: Over the next few months, now with our fancy new architecture in place, we’ll continue to hammer on major benchmarks and real-world applications.” In December 2012, Firefox finished second with 22% of the global browser market, compared to Chrome’s 36%.

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