Firefox 4 is now available to download, bringing an overall boost in performance for users of Mozilla's open-source browser, along with a new look and support for the 'Do Not Track' privacy feature.
The arrival of Firefox 4 comes just a week after the launch of Microsoft's latest browser, IE9. Like IE9, the new Firefox adopts a minimalist look and feel that is designed to give as much space as possible to web content.
Firefox 4 also adds in some extra features, including App Tabs for web applications, Tab Groups to help users manage lots of open tabs, and now includes Firefox Sync as standard.
In our brief tests, we found Firefox 4 to be speedier, starting up faster for one thing, while most users should notice an all-round improvement in responsiveness. It also has one big advantage over IE9, in that it runs on Windows XP, as well as Windows 7, Mac OS X and Linux.
Google's Chrome still beats both these, but it shows that the new Firefox has now overtaken Microsoft's browser in this respect.
Firefox also now supports the 'Do Not Track' feature, which flags up the user's request not to be tracked for behavioural advertising purposes. However, as Mozilla admits, this is not widely supported at the moment, and in any case is entirely voluntary on the part of website owners.
Oddly, this feature is not accessed under the 'Privacy' tab of Firefox's Options menu, but instead can be set from the 'Advanced' tab.
Existing Firefox users will be pleased to learn that Add-Ons such as BetterPrivacy and Adblock Plus appear to work without a hitch under the new version.