Mozilla has just released Firefox 12 to the release channel, six weeks after Firefox 11. Version 12's chief addition to the browser is a new auto-updater for Windows users, which no longer requires administrative privileges to install updates - you'll be prompted once by the UAC the first time you install Firefox, and the browser will update silently after that. If you still want to be notified before updating, you can revert to the old behavior by unchecking "Use a background service to install updates" in Firefox's update preferences. The new auto-updater appears to be a Windows-only change, at least for now; the updater's behavior is unchanged in OS X and Linux.

The other major user-facing change is in Firefox's developer tools, which Mozilla claims introduces 85 improvements, including the addition of line numbers to the Page Source window. Other minor changes include a WebGL performance issue under OS X on certain hardware and a smattering of security fixes, a list of which can be found here.

More information on these changes, as well as on other fixed bugs and known issues, is available in the release notes linked below. Firefox 12 is available for Windows XP, Vista, and 7, as well as OS X 10.5 (Intel), 10.6, and 10.7 and most Linux distributions.

Source: Mozilla

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  • tipoo - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Maybe its the threading architecture, maybe its something else, but as much as Firefox improves it just never has that snappy feel of Opera or Chrome.

    Also, I hope the silent updates mean no more articles for every few week release :P
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Gotta be thorough. :-) We do updates for Chrome, too, and those are already silent.
  • jibberegg - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Just my 2c worth, but I like the updates. Pipeline is great place to put these mini-stories. Keep up the good work!
  • sld - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    It's your addons. On my Core Duo laptop without hardware acceleration, vanilla Firefox is snappy enough. However, I need my 23 addons, and most of the perceived lag comes from Adblock and Ghostery, things I can easily live with.

    In short, point the arrow in the right direction. Firefox is already snappy, will get snappier, and when it is not snappy, it's either addons or very unlikely graphics drivers not playing well.
  • Ronakbhai - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    I actually found my experience to be the same. I'm currently running 27 addons, that do slow down my Firefox considerably. But when running a Vanilla installation, it does feel as snappy as Chrome.

    However, I must add that the SSD is a rather lot like Morphine. With it's presence, you just don't care about the snappiness, as they both seem snappy enough. :)
  • Ronakbhai - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    Can't find edit button, but I must add that my first paragraph was made in reference to a regular 7200RPM HDD.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    I tested them without add-ons as well. Even with a completely clean FF installation (with nuked old profiles) on a modern system, my browsing habits always make it stutter, by which I mean opening multiple background tabs and leaving sessions open for long periods, sometimes days (with computer asleep overnight). Chrome and Opera tick along smoothly no matter what I throw at them, Firefox chugs with either situation. I tested a bit and it seems to be because Firefox will only use one process/core no matter what you are doing, leaving the rest of your cores untouched, so that when you're doing more than one thing at once in it it freezes up when the core hits 100% usage. Opera and Chrome on the other hand use multiple cores so they don't slow down when I do that.

    If Firefox works well for you great, nothing against it, just sharing why I ditched it.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Define "snappy enough". :)

    I used to think Firefox was snappy, fast, "good enough", usable, etc. It handled all the websites I threw at it, it displayed all the content I needed to see, etc. Then we implemented Zimbra, which is very JS-heavy, and I found myself waiting around a lot.

    Switched to Chrome, and then I understood what "snappy" and "fast" really meant. :) And Firefox just seems pokey in comparison.

    Firefox 8 was better. 9 better still. 10 a good improvement. And 11 was finally usable with Zimbra again.

    But it's just not as fast as Chrome on JS-heavy sites. And these days, everything is JS-heavy. :(
  • Kent_Diego - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Now if they can just stop a Flash crash locking the entire browser....
  • Fergy - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    [q]Now if they can just stop a Flash crash locking the entire browser.... [/q]
    And...Done! It is called Firefox 3.6 which loads flash in a separate process. But this was 2010 so you might not have read about it yet.

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