Yesterday, Mozilla Corporation released what I assume will be the final pre-release version of Firefox 3, Release Candidate 2 (RC2):

This second Firefox 3 Release Candidate is a preview release of Mozilla's next generation Firefox browser and is being made available for testing purposes only.

Preview releases are published to collect feedback from Web developers and our testing community before advancing to the next stage in the release process. The final version of Firefox 3 will be released when we qualify the product as fully ready for our users. Users of the latest released version of Firefox should not expect all of their add-ons to work properly with this preview release.

I wouldn’t imagine there are any new features in this release, given the timing.

That said, I would like to highlight some interesting data related to my recent “Firefox 3 vs. Vista” posts.

You may recall that I was wondering about the reliability of FF3 and decided to turn off the extensions I was using (Glasser, Hide MenuBar primarily) to see how that affected things. Turns out, that was exactly the problem: With those extensions off, FF3 runs without a hitch. I did hear from someone from Mozilla, however, and would like to note that they’ve been very thorough in trying to figure out what had happened. Oddly enough, they thought they had traced my crashes to the Silverlight plugin, so after disabling that, I reinstalled Glasser and Hide MenuBar .. and experienced a crash within hours. :)

So I’m back to no extensions for now and all is well. I will install RC2 this morning, and I guess it makes sense to re-try those extensions as well. Holding breath ...

Download Firefox 3 RC2