Firefox 7 (And Its Improved Memory Usage) Hits Beta Channel

Brad Chacos

"Leaner and meaner" are two terms you may use to describe a malnourished lion suffering through a drought, but the same phrase also applies to a cornered Firefox. Google's Chrome took a bit of the luster away from Mozilla's star browser. Rather than simply shrug their shoulders, Firefox's developers rolled up their sleeves and got hard at work on the MemShrink program, an initiative to reduce the browser's horrible memory leaks. Members of the team have reported great successes; now, with the release of Firefox 7 Beta, you can check out the memory improvements for yourself.

The Future of Firefox blog says it achieved the reported 20 to 50 percent memory improvement using a couple of different tactics:

  • Optimized Memory Use : Reduces memory use and improves performance areas including responsiveness, startup and page load time, even in complex websites and Web apps
  • Improved memory management : The JavaScript garbage collector works more frequently to free up memory and improve performance when you have many tabs open or keep Firefox running for a long time

Firefox 7 Beta also includes a number of additional tweaks and changes. Most of them help back end work, but everyday users should noticed faster Firefox Sync times and quicker HTML5 Canvas-based animation rendering.

Intrigued? Want to help test drive Firefox 7? Head over to the Firefox Beta Channel to give the browser a whirl. The final release is expected to launch September 27.

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