A mere two days have passed since Mozilla dropped the official final release of Firefox 8 for public consumption, and already, Mozilla has seeded the first beta version of Firefox 9, and we used to complain about Chrome having the fastest release cycles.

The highlighting feature of this release is however; cosmetic changes for OS X Lion users. That’s all well and good except, well, there doesn’t actually appear to be any change – whatsoever.

Having used Firefox 9 beta on our OS X Lion touting Mac for a good 10 minutes, its safe to say that we didn’t come across anything new, cosmetically that is. Maybe we were just too quick in passing our judgment, or, if we’re not wrong, the changes are very acute to be noticed.

Despite OS X Lion having been around for quite a while now, and despite Mozilla suggesting significant improvements for it, nothing has yet materialized. Those using a Mac will have to wait a little longer until Mozilla figures out a way to utilize Lion’s native features down to their bones.

As well as theme integration for Lion, there are one or two notable updates, for developers and generally inquisitive folk to mull over, including Type Inference to make JavaScript a great deal faster.

Although Mozilla is working around the clock to try and improve its browser, and whist there’s nothing altogether wrong with updating at frequent intervals, the trend of labeling every modest release with a new version saps the excitement of installing a new release. For me, moving from version 7 to version 8 should mean a significant overhaul rather than a couple of improvements and some vanity house upgrades.

Having said that, it keeps Firefox in the news (evidently), as it battles to stay relevant in the midst of the fast rise of Google Chrome – which itself (albeit less overtly) is quickly racking up the version numbers. Currently at version 15 if you’re wondering.

You can download Firefox 9 beta from the links below, but please do bear in mind that it’s a beta release, so there’s a higher possibility of bugs and crashes compared with the end-user release.

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