I downloaded and installed Firefox 3 today. I didn’t try any of the release candidates, so today is the first I’ve seen it.
So far, I like it.Appearance-wise, it looks a little more slick and polished. I can’t exactly quantify it. Looking good isn’t as important as running well, but appearance is the first thing you notice.
Installation is lightning fast, especially off flash media. If you have multiple computers, put the installer on a USB flash drive and install from there.
It imported everything, and I mean everything, from my old 2.x configuration.
The "Awesome bar" is the most touted feature. Given that it imported my (extensive) browser history, its guesses where I want to go aren’t exactly awesome yet. But I like how I can start typing the title of a page I viewed and its URL will appear. As it learns more about my browsing habits and I learn more about it, I’ll like it.
Overall it does seem faster than its predecessor. It renders my blog considerably faster. We’ll see how it fares on Friday when I throw 20-30 addresses at Google Maps for my Saturday ritual. Firefox 2.x really bogged down when I did that.
Memory usage right now is a reasonable 72 megs, which is probably about where Firefox 2 would be after an hour. I’ve kept Firefox sessions open for weeks, so we’ll see how 3.0 looks in a month. The session I’m using right now will probably still be open, knowing me.
These are all just first impressions, but so far I like it. It’s familiar, but some of the improvements are obvious pretty early.