Last week, Mozilla quietly launched Gran Paradiso Alpha 1 on its site. Gran Paradiso an early release candidate designed to test Gecko 1.9, the next major version of Mozilla's layout engine. A final release candidate for Firefox is expected during 2007.
The release notes for Gran Paradiso emphasise that it is aimed solely at coders and the developer community: "Current users of Mozilla Firefox should not use Gran Paradiso Alpha 1."
Windows, Linux and OS X builds have been made available by Mozilla. However, older Windows clients, included 95, 98 and ME, are not supported. "Unofficial" builds are expected to be made available for other platforms once developers become familiar with and then port the code.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer remains the dominant browser in the marketplace, in no small part due to its bundling with Windows. However, Firefox has emerged as a viable competitor, with some studies suggesting it has as much as 20% of the overall browser marketplace.