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Mozilla's Firefox 3.7 looks set to take a step closer to competing with Google's Chrome and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 in the speed stakes, according to results of a pre-release version tested by a browser enthusiast.

A blogger at My Outsourced Brain put a very rough-round-the-edges version of Firefox 3.7 through its paces.

As noted by Slashdot, it contains the early stage features of a project that Mozilla has dubbed Electrolysis, which is the open source outfit's efforts to catch up with IE 8 and Chrome on multicore processor support.

The MOB blogger tested the pre-release version of Firefox 3.7 in parallel with the current iteration of the browser - 3.5.

He/she claimed that JavaScript speed was greatly improved in Firefox 3.7, though it still fell short of Chrome's performance in many of the tests.

"In the Sunspider Javascript performance test, I found that the new build runs nearly three times as fast (1849.2 ms) as Firefox 3.5.6pre (4554.4 ms), however Chromium runs about 50 per cent faster (1211.6 ms)... this test confirms my impression that Chrome has the edge on speed over Firefox (at least in interpretation of JavaScript)," noted the blogger, who carried out all the tests on a Linux platform.

But, if this independent tinkering with an unstable version of Firefox 3.7 is anything to go by, then Mozilla appears to have made vast speed improvements over the browser's predecessors.

Have you got your hands on a pre-release version of Firefox 3.7 yet, and if so, what's your take? Let us know by posting a comment below. ®

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