Mozilla’s Firefox 8 browser is out now, even though it hasn’t been officially released. It looks like it will be properly launched some time in the next few days, but copies are already floating about. While it’s impressive, the really big upgrades are expected to be included in Firefox 10, due in January 2012.
First, Firefox 8: there are tweaks to the tabs system, and third-party add-ons (e.g. toolbars) can no longer run without users’ permission. That latter point is a key security improvement. There are various other behind-the-scenes improvements, with silent updates being tested and probably running through to Firefox 9 in a month or so.
The big changes, though, will be reserved for Firefox 10. This is when there’ll be changes you can instantly see, as the UI is expected to be overhauled and silent updating should be fully implemented. As a sign of how far ahead Mozilla is looking, there are also plans already being discussed regarding Firefox 11.