Firefox 4 launches into a tougher, faster world

Three years ago, Firefox 3 set the world on fire, burning up more than 8 million downloads in its first day. Debuting today, Firefox 4 steps out into a vastly more competitive browser scene.

Firefox 4, released today to the public at large--after 12 public betas, two release candidates, and nearly a year of development--faces a hugely different landscape than its predecessor did. (Download Firefox 4 here.) Microsoft's Internet Explorer still remains the dominant browser, however, and in less than three years, a significant number of people have taken a shine to relative newcomer Google Chrome. We'll see how the latest Firefox does.

Lest the mobile users be left out, there's also Firefox 4 for Android phones to go along with the desktop browser release.

And in this week's disappointing browser news, there's still no Google Instant for Opera. In September, Google said it hoped to bring its then-new Google Instant search feature to users of the Opera browser "shortly," but six months later, there's still no sign of it.