Firefox 4 Beta 5 now supports GPU acceleration

Mozilla’s second to last beta packs a punch with GPU acceleration and more. FireFox is going to have some stiff competition with Chrome continuing to gain market share and the upcoming IE9 drawing closer to it’s release date. However, Firefox is looking to show off it prowess with a host of new and upcoming features.

Currently Firefox 4 supports Direct 2D and Directwrite. As it stands, Linux, Windows XP, and Mac users are out of the loop when it comes to GPU acceleration on Firefox. Since the API it uses is only compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7. However, there maybe future revisions or updates which allow GPU acceleration on other platforms.

Microsoft also plans to implement Direc2D and Directwrite into it’s upcoming IE9 browser. And, while we are talking about compatibility, Google chrome already has plans to implement OpenGL ES 2.0 API for other platforms. And, on Windows, Chrome will use a openGL ES and DirectX 9 mix, called ANGLE.

The goal of ANGLE is to allow Windows users to seamlessly run WebGL content by translating OpenGL ES 2.0 API calls to DirectX 9 API calls.

But, we do not only receive the much awaited GPU acceleration feature. The beta also brings a new audio API that is compatible with HTML 5 by adding the new audio tags. At this point in time, only ogg codecs are included, but there maybe future updates that include support for .mp3, .wav, and other audio formats.

Additionally, the FireFox 4 beta introduces a new security protocol HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS):

This protocol is an even stricter security protocol than HTTPS. It forces users to only be able to connect to the site via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), preventing so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks. For the layman, this boils down to that your information will be more secure on sites that utilize this new feature.

There will be one more beta, FireFox 4 beta 6, and it will bring even more features and performance tweaks (supposedly the Jagermonkey JavaScript engine will be ready to go), with the final release of FireFox 4 to hit the net sometime this November.

You can get the latest version of the FireFox beta at