Firefox 8.0 Releasedby Andrew Cunningham on November 8, 2011 3:30 PM EST
Another six weeks have gone by, which means that it's time for a new Firefox release: Firefox 8.0 was moved to the stable release channel today, and it features a few more visible improvements over Firefox 7.0, which brought mostly under-the-hood updates.
Most of the user-facing changes involve add-ons: a new add-on selection dialog box is shown at first launch, giving users to option to enable and disable add-ons. Most automatically installed third-party add-ons (such as those added by Skype, Acrobat Pro, and other less legitimate programs) are now disabled by default, though they can be re-enabled manually. Add-ons installed by users will usually be unaffected by this decision, which seems to be an IE9-like effort on Mozilla's part to keep the browser running smoothly by disabling unwanted or potentially buggy add-ons.
Additionally, users who like the tabs from previous browsing sessions to load automatically can now turn on a feature in the browser's preferences that doesn't load the contents of tabs until those tabs are selected, reducing the time it takes to re-open a busy browsing session.
Lastly, heavy Twitter users may appreciate the fact that the microblogging site has now been added as a search option by default, alongside long-standing search options like Google and Wikipedia.
Under the hood, Mozilla has made performance and memory improvements when using the <audio> and <video> tags, has added support for HTML5 context menus, and has fixed security and stability issues, among a few other things. For a complete list of changes, the release notes are linked below for your convenience.