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Four Firefox 4 Features Worth Getting Excited About

As a longtime Firefox user, I'm understandably jazzed about version 4, the first major update of the browser since 3.5 dropped in June, 2009. Firefox 4 is due to arrive in early 2011, and with it a host of new features.

Over at Download Squad, you'll find a rundown of some of Firefox 4's new goodies -- four of which I'm particularly excited to see. They are:

1. Firefox Sync Although this has been available as an add-on since June, it's long overdue to get built directly into the browser. It doesn't support cross-platform bookmark syncing the way Xmarks does, but it will sync your history, preferences, and open tabs -- which Xmarks doesn't.

2. Panorama With Panorama (formerly known as Tab Conady), you can organize your tabs into groups and manage those groups on a desktop-like surface. It's kind of like Fences for your tabs, and trust me when I say it'll change the way you work with bookmarked pages. Take a look:

Firefox Panorama: How To from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

3. No-restart add-ons Much as I love Firefox add-ons, I hate having to restart the browser every time I add or remove one. It's like working in Windows XP all over again. With Firefox 4, add-ons can come and go without a "reboot" -- though devs will have to rework their code to take advantage of this feature.

4. It's faster I don't normally think much about browser speed, but I have to admit: Firefox 3.6 is one pokey old dog. Maybe it's all the add-ons I've installed and/or the number of tabs I routinely keep open, but I am definitely looking forward to a speed bump. And by most accounts, Firefox 4 is as nearly as fast as speed-champ Chrome.

What Firefox 4 features/improvements are you most looking forward to? Or are you one of those crazy folks who still use Internet Explorer? (Kidding, kidding -- I know some offices require it.)

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