Mozilla’s Firefox 40 comes with official Windows 10 support and new features

12 Aug 2015


After it issued a security patch for its Firefox browser, which contained a major security loophole, Mozilla has come out with the next version of its web browser having several new features which also offers more protection from malware.

Firefox 40 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android comes with official Windows 10 support and additional protection against unwanted software downloads. The updated web browser also has new navigational features on Android platform.

Although earlier versions of the browser worked on Windows 10, but with Firefox 40, Mozilla was making it official with a few subtle design changes including a larger new tab as also tab close buttons and a number of icons in darker hue.

It comes with the security patch issued with Firefox 39.0.3 one of the features that offered more protection against malicious web pages.

It warns users about a page known to contain deceptive software that was capable of potentially taking over the user's system. When the warning feature is enabled by default, users who prefer not to send any data about downloaded files to Google could turn the  feature off.

Mozilla has also further reduced overall browser UI footprint to increase space for viewing the web.

Meanwhile, a new update to Windows 10 was is said to be causing serious issues for a small number of users, which seemed to validate those who criticised Microsoft's decision to make automatic updates mandatory.

Issued last week, the update designated KB3081424 could hit a snag during installation that caused Windows to abandon it and reboot.

Since updates were automatic and mandatory, Windows would try to install the update again later, which forced another reboot and locked the user in an endless loop.

The snag, as reported on ZDNet and elsewhere, appeared to be caused by certain entries in the registry (a PC's database of settings) that might be left over from earlier installed versions of Windows.

Windows 10 contained a tool that allowed  unwanted updates to be removed, but as KB3081424 was a security patch the tool did not seem to allow users to block it.

Though tech savvy users had been able to allow proper installation of the update by manually editing their registry to remove the problem entries, this was not a recommended measure for most and could cause even bigger issues if done incorrectly.

Windows' automatic updates had been designed as a safety measure to stop users avoiding security patches, as a neglected computer could be dangerous not only to its users but also for other machines to which it was connected.

However, technology writer Gordon Kelly said in a Forbes article out that Microsoft had been somewhat harsh in implementing the measure.

"Not giving Windows 10 users at least the option to disable individual updates should a bad update appear (they can gladly stay on by default) is totally impractical," said Kelly.

"With Windows 10 expected to reach one billion devices over its lifetime, the stakes are too high to expect Microsoft to perfectly vet every update on every potential combination of hardware to which it will be exposed."

In the backdrop of security issues plaguing Adobe's Flash plugin, Mozilla's open-source browser Firefox has blocked the software. (See: Firefox blocks Flash over security issues).

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