Test Driving Firefox's Minefield Browser

mozilla minefield browser Mozilla Foundation

A colleague today showed me a cool, new browser that he's been using to browse the web at blisteringly fast speeds. The browser? Minefield. The author of the code?

Mozilla.

Yes, that same Mozilla that makes the Firefox browser. Minefield is, in fact, a way to glimpse into the future of Firefox, as it's a pre-release/alpha version of the Firefox browser.

After spending some time with Minefield, one thing is clear: the future of Firefox is fast. Lightning fast.

How fast? Some claim that it has the fastest javascript engine on the planet, which means it leaves Google's Chrome browser in the dust. In my own unscientific tests, I'd say that this assertion is correct. Ars Technica pegs Minefield as 10 percent faster than Chrome.

You can download the latest nightly build for Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows, but be warned: it's alpha code. While a quick scan of the Web shows few complaints as to stability, Minefield may not be for you. It doesn't support some of my favorite Firefox extensions (like Adblock Plus), but it actually has surprisingly good support for extensions, given that it's a fast-moving project.

Feeling brave? Or simply feeling like your browser is too slow? Give Minefield a try. It's a separate install so it won't affect an existing Firefox install. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

By Matt Asay
  • CBSNews

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