Firefox 5 Nearly 2 Months Away

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Just settling in with Firefox 4? Don’t get too comfortable, because Firefox 5 is expected to arrive on June 21.

Mozilla, which creates the Firefox browser, has moved to an 18-week development cycle, promising new versions of Firefox at a rapid pace. But Firefox 5 will actually be developed on a shortened 13-week cycle, putting it on track for late June, PC Mag reports.

Firefox 5 won’t be a drastic redesign like the minimalist Firefox 4. Instead, you’ll see a handful of key features on top of the existing interface. The next Firefox could include tabs with drop-down shortcut menus (kind of like Jumplists in Internet Explorer 9), IE9-style desktop apps, social sharing features, multiple account sign-ins and the ability to select several tabs at once.

Firefox 5 features aren’t set in stone, however, and under Mozilla’s new approach, features that aren’t ready to roll will simply be pushed back to the next version. This will allow Mozilla to release new versions without delay, giving users faster access to the features that work. The approach is similar to that of Google Chrome, which is in its 10th stable version after two and a half years.

Of course, the faster development cycle means that future versions will be available in short order as well. Firefox 5, 6 and 7 should all be available by the end of the year. To get a sense of the changes Mozilla wants to make, check out this list of user interface priorities on the Mozilla wiki.