MOZILLA HAS taken the shutters off Firefox 44, offering a range of new features.
The headline arrival is the addition of push notifications, already present and correct in Chromium-based browsers, which allows pop-up notifications such as for new email arrivals, bringing a more desktop like experience to web apps.
This feature replaces the previous version which was less sophisticated and actually involved leaving the browser open. Now it's all based on background processes, so you can get a notification even if you're doing something else.
This is just the highlight of several updates with less glamorous but equally important additions, mostly on the developer side.
There's a new warning page for insecure connections, activation of H.264 where a system decoder is available, and support for Brotli HTTPS compression just in time for Google to launch its successor.
Fixes are, of course, flanked by the usual 'various security fixes' vaguery, but there's also an end to the annoying bug that caused the screensaver to keep running when playing video in Vista and XP.
There's a whole bunch of stuff under 'developer tools' which you can read up on here if you're a developer, but other changes include the removal of on-screen keyboard support for Windows 8 and 8.1, which never really worked. It will, we are told, come back in another build though.
Several security measures have been implemented, including stricter validation of web fonts and closer compliance with web fonts for Linux.
Certain Equifax cyphers will no longer be trusted automatically, and support for RC4 cyphers has been withdrawn altogether. Windows builds will have an SHA-256 signing certificate to make them compliant with the will of Satya Nadella.
Firefox continues to be hugely popular, especially with the open source community, for its flexibility and adaptability.
This is the first big announcement from Mozilla since November when the company said that it was doing well despite no longer using Google as its default search engine, and confirmed a temporary reprieve for Microsoft Silverlight. µ
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