Mozilla Radically Revamps Firefox Browser

Image: A view of Firefox 29 on Windows
A view of Firefox 29 on Windows.Firefox

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Mozilla's new Firefox update completely refreshes the look of the popular browser, with a focus on letting users customize their experiences.

Mozilla announced Firefox 29, its biggest revamp since late 2011, in a blog post and video posted Tuesday.

"This is our biggest update in a while, and you're going to see that right away," Firefox vice president Johnathan Nightingale said in the video. "But the changes go more than skin deep."

Firefox 29 is decidedly more sleek than its predecessor, with a new look similar to Google Chrome. Like Chrome, Firefox now includes larger, rounded browsing tabs and a three-bar "hamburger" menu in the right corner.

That menu is where the "customization mode" option kicks in: Users can drag and drop their favorite features, tools and browser add-ons to the menu or to the toolbar.

Other Firefox 29 features include the ability to pin browsing tabs, an easier Firefox Sync experience -- which saves browsing history, passwords and other Firefox content across computers -- as well as simpler options for sharing content to social networks.

Firefox's announcement happens to coincide with a terrible week for rival browser Internet Explorer. Microsoft is scrambling to fix a newly found bug in Internet Explorer, which leaves all versions of the browser open to potential attacks. The U.S. government encouraged users to run alternative browsers -- like Firefox.

But the Firefox 29 reboot comes at a difficult time for Mozilla, too. Earlier this month, newly promoted Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich stepped down in response to furor over a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to an anti-gay marriage cause.