Plenty to like in newest Firefox version

Don't look now, but the third volley in the second browser war is about to be fired, and it's packing an impressive payload. Mozilla, the folks developing the Firefox Web browser, last week released a new test version. It's the third beta of Firefox 3.0, and it's solid enough that it could become your main browser right now, even before it's formally finished.

Regular readers know I usually warn mainstream users away from beta software, but Firefox 3.0 beta 3 is different. Not only does it seem to be very stable, but it fixes several problems that bothered Firefox 2.0 users.

For those unfamiliar with Firefox, it's an open-source project derived from the original Netscape browser. It has steadily gained in popularity since its initial release in late 2004, making inroads into the market share of Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer browser.