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Firefox 3.6 beta set to ship next week

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Mozilla tentatively plans to release the first beta of Firefox 3.6 on 13 October.

The open source browser maker is expected to spin out the next iteration of Firefox in November, and next week’s upcoming beta is understood to be the only test build released by Mozilla before 3.6 - codenamed Namoroka and based on Gecko 1.9.2 - lands.

Firefox 3.6 won’t be a major update. Fans of the browser will have to wait until Firefox 4.0 to ship, which isn’t expected to happen until October 2010 at the earliest, to see big Google Chrome-like changes to the surfing tool.

After 3.6 rocks up, Mozilla will squirt out 3.7, which gives a doff of the cap to Microsoft’s Windows Vista/7 Aero Glass design by taking on the same translucent appearance as the OS itself.

Firefox 3.6 will come with minor tweaks that include lightweight themes, improvements to the org's TraceMonkey JavaScript engine, an optimised session restore, better page-rendering speed and a few new additions for the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) tech used in the browser.

The beta release date is only an estimate, and Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner told the Firefox team that there was “no shame” if they don’t hit the suggested deadline. ®

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