The number of words used to described prerelease software is just staggering. Yes, we do have our favorite bearer of the perpetual beta moniker in the name of Gmail but that is a topic for another day. Mozilla has released a “Preview” of its popular Firefox browser whose next release is to be labeled Firefox 3.5. The preview release is being used for testing, before they finally release a release candidate (RC).
Among the most commonly mentioned features of HTML5 in Firefox 3.5 is the support for audio and video tag. Native support for audio and video content is important because before HTML5, browsers have had to rely on plug-ins to play video and audio. You need to download and install plug-ins before you can view any videos on YouTube or any such video websites. If you happen to reach sites that use Microsoft codec, then you will also need to download a plug-in for Windows Media files. A consistent and out of the the box video and audio playback capability is a win for all web users.
Firefox 3.5 preview will help developers of the browser to gather feedback about the bug fixes that have implemented since the release of Firefox 3.5 beta 4. As of this writing, you can not download Firefox 3.5 preview from Mozilla but if you have Firefox 3.5 beta 4 installed you can do a manual update from the Help menu. Find the announcement of the release of the preview here.