Firefox 3.5 RC release imminent

Chicago (IL) – Two builds of Firefox 3.5 RC1 were posted in the nightly section of Mozilla’s public ftp server yesterday, suggesting an official release of RC1 this week.

The Windows version of the almost complete build, entitled Firefox 3.5 “Beta 99” encompases 7.6 MB as a self-extracting archive for Windows 2000 through Windows 7 and did not crash on our test-system.

There were no immediately noticeable changes to the browser interface since beta 4, which is no surprise, given that release candidates are usually stability and bug-fix updates meant for mainstream testing before an imminent product release.

As we reported in our review of beta 4, Firefox 3.5 features a new, faster, Javascript engine and private browsing mode, as well as improved video integration.

According to Mozilla, final quality assurance testing will adress everything from last minute bugs to the flawless functionality of extensions, plugins, accessibility, the automatic update feature and the top 500 websites.

Given the small number and low severity of remaining bugs on Bugzilla, the release candidate will likely mark the last test version of the browser before the final release, and is therefore on-track for release by the end of June.