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Firefox 10 released with Extended Support Release for Businesses, full screen apps, disappearing forward button, WebGL antialiasing, smoother scrolling and more For Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and Android. End of Windows 2000 and XP RTM announced.

Following Google Chrome's six week release cycle, Mozilla rolled out the tenth iteration of its popular open source browser Firefox 10 on Tuesday.






Though the software does bring an array of tweaks and enhancements for both users and developers, it's perhaps most notable for the fact that it marks the debut of the business-oriented Extended Support Release (ESR) program Mozilla has been working on with the Enterprise User Working Group it re-established last summer.







As the biggest UI tweaks will arrive in Firefox 12, the majority of changes are under the hood: except that the "forward" button now only appears once you've pressed "back." New API, which lets developers show part of their web page / app in full screen. This can be used for not only video, but games, or even other HTML based apps, such as presentation slides as well.


Anti-aliased WebGL graphics and and the IndexedDB implementation has been updated to match the specification. An "extended support release" that enables enterprise customers to only download security updates. 


CSS 3D Transitions are now supported alongside a new CSS inspector for those digging deep into the fabric of the universe internet- a major CSS3 feature that allow — as suggested by the name — 3D transformations of web page elements. This is not WebGL, which is a richer way to allow any kind of 3D content, but a simple way for people to have basic 3D transforms applied to their text. 


Java applet and moving bookmarks crashes should be a thing of the past, but it's not all plain sailing: no new release ever is, after all. On the "to be fixed" list includes herky-jerky scrolling in Gmail, Silverlight videos not working in OS X and vertical scrolling is broken on some touch-pads. Let's hope they get the former fixed quickly, our inbox is already overflowing 'round these parts. 

Here is a look at the new developer tools available in Firefox 10.







The mobile version of Firefox for Android release still lacks official support for Adobe Flash Player, but makes up for this absence with native support for WebGL anti-aliasing. The new release also sports extremely smooth scrolling, accelerated layers in OpenGL ES and a new <bdi> HTML5 element for bi-directional text isolation.

Of course, many Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users have already noticed that Google's latest stock browser seems to be doing a pretty good job of satisfying most casual Web browsing scenarios, certainly a major improvement over Android 3.0 Honeycomb's impotent and almost functionally useless stock browser. Nevertheless, Mozilla seems to be doing a very good job of holding its Android browser marketshare on tablets, with 5 to 10 million downloads of Firefox 10.0 since Tuesday morning.



End of Firefox Support for Windows 2000

If you're one of the few Firefox users still on Windows 2000 or still using Windows XP without Service Pack 2 or later, Firefox is going to have to say goodbye. Yesterday, Mozilla's Asa Dotzler announced that Firefox team is moving to a newer version of the Visual Studio toolchain. Once Mozilla moves to Visual Studio 2010, they won't be able to build for Windows 2000, XP RTM or SP1.

Asa added "It's always a difficult decision to leave some users behind. The number of Firefox users on those OS versions -- less than one half of one percent of our Windows Firefox users, and the benefits to our development process and the hundreds of millions of Firefox users on XP SP2 and above, however, compel us to look forward rather than back.

If you are a Windows 2000 user, Firefox 12, released on June 5th, will be the final supported Firefox release. After that, your options are limited. Switching to Opera is probably the best path forward.

If you're a Windows XP user still on RTM or Service Pack 1, I strongly urge you to install the free Windows Service Pack updates."


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