Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Mozilla Releases Firefox 5.0 While Google Releases Chrome 13 Beta

    Posted on June 23rd, 2011 at 09:27 EP 23 comments

    Mozilla has recently released the final edition of Firefox 5.0.

    Read all of Firefox 5.0′s new features here.

    Meanwhile, Google has released Chrome 13 into their Beta Channel last week. One of the features of Chrome 13 that has been long requested for three years since Chrome 1.0 came out is Print Preview (yes, Print Preview has finally arrived for Chrome).

    Read more about Chrome 13 beta on this Google Chrome blog page.

    UPDATE: It seems that Mozilla’s “rapid release” process to recent Firefox versions has come under criticism as written in this recent PC World article:

    UPDATE 2: Read this Ars Technica article titled “Firefox update policy: the enterprise is wrong, not Mozilla” at this page:


    23 responses to “Mozilla Releases Firefox 5.0 While Google Releases Chrome 13 Beta”

    1. Given the inability of Extensions developers to keep up with the Firefox 4 upgrade, the accelerated Firefox new versions release schedule is going to be a disaster. Possibly the end of the road for Mozilla. I will try FF5, but with no expectation that the loss of Extensions functionality and the likely corruption of my Limited User Profiles, I hold out little hope that I can justify continuing to use Firefox on my WinBook Windows XP Pro SP3 laptop. Time to retire Firefox and go to Chrome, if it works on that laptop at all.

      Comments and Reviews at Mozilla and developer pages are rife with incompatibility issues for my favorite Extensions even with FF4. Most issues remain unresolved. This is definitely NOT an orderly development process!

    2. My comment above should read With the likely expectation of loss of Extensions functionality and Limited User Profiles corruption. At least, based on previous experience since Firefox 3.6.

    3. Woody,
      I’d love to hear that Mozilla has fixed the problem of Gmail loading slowly in FF4. I just timed from clicking on Gmail in my Google home page to my inbox loading. It took 40 seconds. That’s actually faster than usual. Could be because I just exited from Gmail and it’s still cached.
      By comparison, I just did the same thing in Chrome. It took just under seven seconds.
      So the problem isn’t with too many Gmail lab doodads (which I cut down).
      OK, so I’m spoiled. But these days, we don’t have to wait a week to get mail delivered!
      All the best,

    4. Good article from Ed Bott – http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/mozilla-to-enterprise-customers-drop-dead/3497. IMO, Google & Mozilla are releasing new versions at an insane pace. I wonder if this is just a convenient way to not provide support beyond emergency security fixes.

    5. Update on Firefox 5:

      I installed this new version into my WinBook (Win XP pro SP3 32-bit, single-core processor, 512MB RAM). Extensions which had not worked in FF4/4.0.1 now are for the most part working, including my favorite, FEBE. No more need to use MozBackup, although if FF will not launch, MozBackup is still useful to restore the Profile and be back in business.

      I wouldn’t worry about Enterprise acceptance of Firefox or Chrome — it simply won’t happen, no matter what. Businesses standardize on Microsoft Everywhere, and use a Standard Disk Image based on their WSUS support contracts. There’s no room for anything else in that scenario.

      For consumers and academic users, there are choices, and Firefox is once again an excellent alternative. And so is Chrome. It’s nice to see Mozilla’s Edsel (FF4) tossed onto the trash-heap of history, so that we can get back to more pressing issues — like the current in the wild exploits against IE8 and IE9.

      Chrome still stands as the unPWNed champion, last I read. But Abine’s Privacy Suite is not available for Chrome, which makes me wonder once again about Chrome users’ privacy options. (ChromeBlock, from Abine, has to be reset each time the browser cookies are cleared — unacceptable!)

      I will continue to use Chrome in 64-bit Windows 7 because I find it to be secure, fast and stable compared with Firefox in that same environment. The privacy issues with Chrome are manageable, but what a pain in the neck!

      I will continue to use Firefox on 32-bit Windows XP, just because I can customize FF better than Chrome, and Chrome is a bit sluggish on older hardware. (So is Firefox if you load it up with too many ad blockers!) In terms of security, my WinXP laptop relies on the Comodo Firewall and MSE-2. That is not perfect, but it works for me. YMMV.

    6. That Print/ Print Preview button will only work with Google’s clunky PDF Viewer, and downloads will not be printed, but will be saved as PDF files (if the page content allows this, which many sites do not). How is it that every time Google gives Chrome users something, they take it only halfway?

    7. @rc primak: you need to personally contact the Extensions developers and ask them to publish their extensions on the Firefox addons page. About all the extensions I had previously installed for Firefox 4.0.1 became compatible with Firefox 5.0, either via a update or just re-installing them from the Firefox addons site.

    8. @EP –

      This is not Firefox I am talking about. I am criticizing the way Google has proposed to add back the Print/ Print Preview Button as part of the core features of Chrome 13. Please read the article for what they are doing, and you will see what my complaint is. This is not a Firefox Extension issue.

    9. @re primak.
      [Enterprise acceptance of Firefox or Chrome — it simply won’t happen,]
      IE is a dirty word at my office.[200 users]
      Fire Fox rules
      I had to fire 3 IT Managers to get my point across through.
      MSE instead of AVG same 3 managers wanted me to pay for AVG lol.

    10. Woody and Friends,
      Anybody actually happy with FF5?
      I keep getting nagged to update and keep ignoring it.

    11. @Morty -

      I’m using it. No problems.

    12. Good on ya, Angus!

    13. My new computer I built is an i7-920 with Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit. Firefox 4.0 messed up my system so bad, the only way back to 3.6 was to do a Restore. I currently only run 3.6.18 on both my newer custom and my old Dell. I also run Norton 360 Premium that has protected me just fine for several years.

      Microsoft started the trend that delivering a not ready for market product for sale as being the norm and everybody and I mean EVERYBODY now does it in all markets, not just with PCs. And it is OK; and good luck chasing it down with the USA Federal Trade Commission or the Attorney General’s Office of your State.

      (I have been buying your Dummy books since XP. I also have Ed Bott’s treatise of each. Woody, you have saved my butt more than once with your BBS here.)

    14. @Angus —

      I wasn’t referring to small offices. I was referring to the much bigger Enterprise market. Sorry for the confusion.

    15. I am not in love with Firefox 5, but compared with FF4, it broke fewer Extensions, and is more stable on my Win XP Pro SP3 32-bit laptop than any FF4.x version. FEBE and Long URL Please are among the useful Extensions which are compatible with FF5, but never made it to stability with FF4.x.

      Very few other noticeable differences, except that some “about:config” tweaks (like getting rid of “frecency” and “Most Visited” and Bookmarks suggestions in the “Awesome Bar”) all have to be reset. What a pain in the neck! Chrome doesn’t force me to do any of this.

      Chrome for me is a cleaner, more secure, more stable, more 64-bit friendly browser for Windows 7 (on my other laptop). And its updates seldom cause even a noticeable ripple. Rapid updating is not evil in itself, but in an Extensions-heavy environment, there’s a lot of dead weight to drag along each time the core features are upgraded. And that is where Chrome shows itself to be more agile and stable in its development process than Firefox, in my experience as a single-PC (OK, 2 PC) user.

      Corporations are a vastly different matter, for reasons well covered in both updates to Woody’s main posting here. Again I say, the evidence points strongly towards non-IE Windows browsers NEVER gaining much traction in the corporate Enterprise world. And non-Windows desktop operating systems are also hobbled in the Enterprise arena by the same factors presented in both articles.

    16. Woody,
      OK, I updated to 5.
      But not until I set a system restore point and backed up my hard drive. (With computers, you have to be crazy not to be paranoid!)
      The good news: Works faster and better than 4 (Mozilla’s Vista?). Gmail faster too–just about as fast as Chrome.
      All extensions but one work.
      Only kvetch–my Google Toolbar isn’t compatible with 5. So what’s up? Is Google not playing nice? A chrome-colored conspiracy? Or is it Mozilla’s rush to release?
      I guess I’ll wait and see….

    17. Woody,
      Looks like I’m not the only one. Google fessed up:
      What do you think of this solution?

    18. @Morty —

      Most likely, by the time you read this, Google will have a working toolbar for Firefox 5. It’s a time-lag thing, not a conspiracy.

    19. @Bob (rc)–
      Thanks. Just for the record, though, I’m not the only one who subscribes to that conspiracy theory. I saw others griping, saying that Google had ample notice of FF5 coming down the pike and just didn’t bother. But, I’ll wait it out.

      By the way, I spoke too soon about Gmail coming up fast. It was a fooler. It appears normal on screen, but if I click too soon, I get a pop-up message that not all of Gmail has loaded yet. So it’s another case of “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

    20. I have three words for the conspiracy theorists here — Rapid Release Cycle. With Firefox coming out with new versions as frequently as every six weeks, a lot of Toolbars and Extensions will have a hard time keeping up with the pace.

    21. @RC,
      I’ve had worse words thrown at me :)
      Is that why my Gmail is still flaky?

    22. Firefox vs. Google Toolbar update:
      “Toolbar not available for Firefox 5 or newer versions”
      Also see

    23. If anyone else still misses the Firefox Google Toolbar here’s a replacement:
      Home page:

      If you don’t miss a bar, you’re probably too drunk to use it anyway.

    Leave a reply