According to the Mozilla website, Firefox 3.7 is destined for release in May-June 2010 and is set to introduce major interface changes. (link)
Although the current build of Minefield (the current codename for Firefox 3.7) looks no different from the current 3.5 release of the browser (besides the name and icon), mockups of what the browser may look like, posted on the Mozilla Wiki, show the beginnings of a radical overhaul of the interface. One must bear in mind that, as the website stresses, these are only drafts of what the browser may look like; however they give an indication of where interface development is headed.
One of the main impressions that comes across when looking at these designs is how much these drafts seem to borrow from Internet Explorer (IE) 7 and 8. Like IE, Firefox has dropped the Menu Bar in favour of ‘Page’ and ‘Tools’ menus and has also adopted an aero-based theme for the Windows Vista/7 version of the theme.
One piece of original functionality that has been proposed for the default Firefox theme is the shifting of the page loading bar to the top of the associated tab. As this is only a mock-up, not much more can be said about added functionality.
The planned default Windows theme also seems to be tailored for every official Windows XP theme – the standard Blue, Olive Green and Silver as well as Zune and Royale themes. These all have their own minor adjustments that make the browser blend into the operating system in which it is being run.
Version 3.7 is not the next version of Firefox; according to the Mozilla Wiki, the minor version 3.6 is destined for release late this year. Version 4 of Firefox is already being planned to come after 3.7, with even more User Interface (UI) changes in store, showing that Mozilla plan to ease users into a new UI rather than just leaving them high and dry in a new layout.
Minefield on 19/9/02009