Update: We received the following statement from Johnathan Nightingale, Senior Director of Firefox Engineering, regarding the rapid release process and what role Nightly (and experimental versions) play into the release cycle:
Firefox Nightly builds are early, untested versions of Firefox where new Web technologies and user features evolve rapidly. As the first stop on the Firefox release model, Nightly is the initial testing ground; features are added and removed daily. Features that reach a high level of stability and confidence then move through iterative testing on our Firefox Aurora and Beta channels. Only when testing in those channels confirms their general excellence do we release those features to hundreds of millions of Firefox users. In this model, improvements to Firefox reach our users regularly, and faster than ever before.
Original Article: It looks like Firefox has been testing more-Chrome like features in its (Firefox Nightly testing builds).
ExtremeTech points to some testing of a new “new tab” page and home page, providing the following screen cap:
This will look familiar to Chrome users.
The new home page is similar but goes a bit further, with a chat section and a “recently shared” section.
In an update, Extreme Tech notes that the new tab page was removed from the Nightly builds, and that it will likely appear in Firefox 13.
Firefox’s home page has really not changed much over the years, so a more Chrome-like experience would really symbolize the evolution of the browser.
Chrome reportedly overtook Firefox in users last month.
Google has really pushed the boundaries in the browser space, despite being the newer kid on the block. Don’t forget that Mozilla basically owes Google for Firefox’s continued existence. Google considers them a partner, not a competitor.