Firefox 4 beta 1 Hands-On: Take That, Chrome

There’s no question that Mozilla Firefox is now the browser of choice for many consumers and business users alike. However, Google Chrome has quickly been gaining steam as a Firefox alternative, and many people have been tempted to make the switch. After testing the new interface and features in Firefox 4 beta 1 (released yesterday), it’s clear that Mozilla has responded to the potential threat of Google in full force.

Our first reaction when seeing Firefox’s new design is that it looks an awful lot like Chrome. Firefox now sports a streamlined, minimalist aesthetic with tabs on top of the screen. On Windows 7 and Vista, the typical menu items have been consolidated into an all-purpose “Firefox button” for easy access. Moreover, the bookmarks bar has now turned into a bookmarks button, which puts all of your bookmarks into a single list. While this does take up less space when browsing normally, personally we’d rather sacrifice a few pixels for the convenience of the bookmarks bar.

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