Chrome is getting faster and Opera released the 11.10 beta which is as good as Chrome is. Firefox4 on the other hand, had to "copy" some of the GUI "hints" from Chromium because of the demand from the users (everybody loves Chrome right?). The last time I installed the Firefox4 was the beta 12 version if I'm not mistaken.
And to be honest I wasn't impressed. The text looked horrible (a bug :( ) and it wasn't loading faster (the browser itself) + I use roboform and the plugging wasn't working well it the new version 4 for which you really can't blame Mozilla actually. But with the 4RC and this latest official release, according to some testers firefox4 is actually slightly faster than Chrome 10!. But still the new IE9 is ahead in the competition (slightly on certain areas only), as always Firefox will catch it in the end ... at least I hope it will.
Below are some of the major improvements that it brigs to your PC...
*. GPU optimized (kinda) -
Like with the recent Chrome version, Firefox also uses your GPU for rendering videos or other flash files depending on the application demand which helps to reduce CPU loads thus giving a much faster + stable experience.
But they haven't yet released the full support list of GPUs. If you have recent Intel GPU chips, then because Intel is drifted towards making their drivers + technical details a bit open than the rivals, firefox4 does plays videos faster than both Chrome and IE9! on some of those GPUs!.
*. GUI -
Well, I don't think anybody will need an introduction for this. Even if you haven't been using Firefox4 beta, still as soon as you download and install it you'll feel the difference. Not only the menus or icons, but as with Chromium, Firefox now uses the screen quite efficiently.
The new add-on manager is another noticeable improvement. Not only you can easily manage the installed add-on or plug-gins but the bigger screen makes it easy to "understand" things as well.
This is actually one of the biggest improvements of all (although it is certainly not new). Now you can sync all your bookmarks, history, tabs, etc via multiple computers with ease. Previously, the users were only able to do this via an addon, which kept the data on Mozilla servers. But now the function is built right into the web browser and it allows you to manage a dedicated Firefox file sync server of your own!.
*. Better security
Now it blocks unwanted adds and web sites even better than the previous versions. You'll be better protected against hackers as well.
Unlike IE9 which cannot be installed on Windows XP, Firefox4 runs on XP which could be the breaking point for them. It lets you manage opened tabs via a "tab manager" which is another handy feature, loads faster and renders web sites efficiently too. In comparison with the beta versions, the Official Firefox4 is looking really good actually.
The "Safe Mode" option is missing
When you install the Firefox4, unlike with the previous versions, there won't be a separate menu which lets you run it in safe mode. It is not missing actually but not included as an easy to use option. To activate the old safe mode, before clicking on the Firefox icon, hold down the "shift" key on your keyboard and double click while you still holding it down and that should do the trick.
So if you haven't used the "4" when it was beta or is simply taken away by its bugs or whatever they were, and still think the "official" version won't be any better, then I urge you to try the official version. It is worth giving a try!.