Although Firefox 15 final version was available on Mozilla’s FTP servers, Firefox 15 has been officially released now and is available from the updates menu. You can either download it using the Firefox Updater by opening Firefox and going to Help –> About Firefox and checking for updates or if you haven’t installed Firefox yet, just download it from the direct download link at the end of this article.
Firefox 15 comes with a lot of new features, some of which can be considered as major changes to the browser. The biggest touted feature of Firefox 15 is silent background updates. The updating feature of Firefox has been revamped and now the updates process will be more silent requiring less input from the user.
In my opinion, the biggest enhancement in Firefox 15 is its memory usage. Firefox 15 is optimized to consume less memory. It will also take care of the memory leaks from addons. Before installing Firefox 15, I was using Firefox 14 and it was using around 600 MB of memory while Firefox 15 is using only 461 MB till now. I have opened the same number of tabs (11) and same number of addons are installed in Firefox 15. I think this is a huge step forward in comparison to Google Chrome.
Here’s a quick video about comparison of Firefox 15, Google Chrome 21 and Opera 12.5.
Here is the changelog of Firefox 15:
- Silent, background updates
- Support for SPDY networking protocol v3
- WebGL enhancements, including compressed textures for better performance
- Localization in Maithili (see all available locales)
- Optimized memory usage for add-ons
- New layout view added to Inspector
- High precision event timer implemented
- The CSS word-break property has been implemented.
- New responsive design tool allows web developers to switch between desktop and mobile views of sites
- Native support for the Opus audio codec added
- The <audio> and <video> elements now support the played attribute
- The <source> element now supports the media attribute
- Focus rings keep growing when repeatedly tabbing through elements
Firefox 15 system requirements still don’t have listed any support for Windows 8 but I can confirm that Firefox 15 works in Windows 8.