Firefox 4: The Tabs Will Be on Top

It seems like Firefox 4, when it is finally released, will have its browser tabs above the URL bar. Google Chrome is probably the most known for this practice, though Apple did originally intend to have the same UI change in Safari 4. (Due to complaints during the beta period, Apple reverted the tabs to their previous position.)

Why is this so important? First of all, it’s different. So there will doubtlessly be complaints. Secondly, it fits with manila folder tab metaphor better. Alex Faaborg, a user experience designer at Mozilla, has a video explaining everything.

The developers are also hard at work optimizing the revamped browser for speed. Some improvements include “multithreaded HTML5 parsing, GPU-accelerated rendering, and a new JavaScript VM+JIT.” Hopefully UI snappiness and decreased launch times are part of the “half or more of the engineering effort on Firefox 4″ that is going toward performance improvements.

The release for Firefox 4 is tentatively scheduled for November 2010, though it’s certainly possible it could change.

  • Mike Helton

    I would definitely like to see Firefox develop a faster browser. I have to use Google Chrome if I want to watch a large video file.

    As for me, I could get used to the tabs on the top. It may take a while but I think I can make it a non issue.


    • Matt

      I don’t think it should be too big of a deal, either. They put a nice thick “handle” on the top to drag the window around, so that takes care of the big issue I had with the beta of Safari 4.