Next Firefox Releases Set for September

The Mozilla Foundation is planning to release the next major version of its Firefox browser in September, according to information posted to the foundationis Web site.

The release will be called Firefox 1.5, or what has been code named "Deer Park". Mozilla engineer Ben Goodger posted an updated roadmap, including Firefox 2.0 ("The Next Big Thing") in the first quarter of 2006 and version 3.0 ("The Next Next Big Thing") in the third quarter of next year.

Although specific features of Versions 2.0 and 3.0 have not been finalized, Mr. Goodger said likely goals for the releases include improvements to Bookmarks and History; per-site options, enhancements to the extensions system, find toolbar, automatic software update, search and other areas and accessibility compliance.

"Our goal is to continue to build a "best of breed" browser product for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X," wrote Mr. Goodger. "We have ambitious goals for the workload between now and our next major release set."

The beta release of the browser, called Firefox 1.4, is slated to go out in August just ahead of the 1.5 release. Mozilla recently updated Firefox and Thunderbird to versions 1.0.6 with stability fixes.

Chris Hofmann, lead engineer at Mozilla cautioned that the September release window might slip. "We havenit ever published a (final release) date," he said, reminding users that the target was previously "late summer."