Mozilla has announced version 40 of the Firefox browser, bringing a refreshed look following the release of Windows 10, along with ways to help people preserve their preferred choice of search engine.
Firefox 40 was officially made available to download from Mozilla's Release Channel on 11 August, bringing a refreshed user interface, added protection against unwanted software downloads and other enhancements.
A post on the Mozilla blog said that Firefox users can now download or update to the latest version to see a fresh new look in Windows 10.
"We've made thoughtful tweaks to the interface to give Firefox a streamlined feel. You'll also notice bigger, bolder design elements as well as more space for viewing the web. We had a lot of fun building this version of Firefox and we hope you'll enjoy the new look," the firm said.
The move comes after the release of Windows 10 last month which introduced a new browser, Microsoft Edge, set as the default for all users. Because of this, Mozilla has posted instructions on its blog detailing how Firefox users can reset this. In fact, Firefox will ask you the first time you run it after installation, but users can also change it in the Windows Settings app.
Firefox also preserves upgraders' previous choice of default search engine. According to Mozilla, when the search box on the Windows 10 taskbar is used to search the web, it defaults to displaying results from Bing. With the new Firefox set as the default browser, web searches from the search box will show results from the default search engine specified in Firefox.
Firefox 40 also introduces a certification process for browser add-ons to guard against malicious plug-ins or malware masquerading as plug-ins. Currently, this warns the user only if they attempt to install an uncertified add-on, but in future these will be blocked.
"In future releases of Firefox, any third-party add-on that has not been certified will be disabled by default. Today, you will start seeing warnings next to unsigned add-ons in Firefox, but no add-ons will be automatically disabled," the firm said.
"These warnings will inform you about add-ons that have not been certified by Mozilla, and we're working with add-on developers to help them meet our standards and make add-ons safer for you."
In addition, Firefox 40 now issues a warning if users visit a page known to contain malicious or deceptive downloads.
The new release comes as Firefox has seen a decline in popularity over the past year or two. Figures from web analytics firm Netmarketshare from July show Firefox trailing Internet Explorer and Chrome in the number of people using it to browse the web.
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