Hours before the scheduled public release of its long-awaited Firefox 2.0 Web browser, the Mozilla Foundation has posted the final versions of the software on its FTP servers in preparation for the public launch.
The official Firefox 2.0 public launch page has not been activated on the Mozilla site (at 8.30am AEST), but the new versions for Windows, Linux and Macintosh are available now, buried amid the data on the group's FTP servers. Versions in other languages are also available at Mozilla's ftp site (ftp://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/2.0/).
On Friday, Mozilla had said it would make the new Firefox 2.0 browser available on Tuesday. The last preview version of the browser, called Release Candidate 3, was posted for public download last Monday. The official Firefox Web page still offers version 188.8.131.52 of the browser for download, but is expected to be updated or replaced to allow downloads of Firefox 2.0.
New features in Firefox 2.0 include built-in anti-phishing controls, built-in RSS and XML feed-viewing capabilities and a new inline spell checker.
The launch of Firefox 2.0 follows on the heels of Microsoft's launch last week of a major upgrade of its Internet Explorer browser, IE7.