Mozilla, an open-source non-profit behind the Firefox browser, today released Firefox 8, a major new version with Twitter search built-in (supporting English, Portuguese, Slovenian and Japanese, with more languages to come in due time), HTML5/WebGL improvements, the master password feature to protect all saved user names and password on Android and other under-the-hood tweaks. Here’s one of the better: You can now tell Firefox to load tabs on demand so it performs much faster when you restore windows with many tabs (Options > Preferences > General). Firefox 8 also disables add-ons installed by third-parties without your permission and lets Android users add site shortcuts to their home screen.

Interestingly, Firefox can now be downloaded bundled with Bing search over at a brand new URL firefoxwithbing.com. What’s the benefit? According to the blurb, “When you get the latest version of Mozilla Firefox with Bing, you’re bringing the ability to help make informed decisions right to your browsing experience”. Firefox 8 is available for download in more than 70 languages for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Accompanying the Firefox 8 release, Mozilla also updated its email client Thunderbird with the Lightning 1.0 calendar feature, better attachment handling and accessibility, updated Search and Find shortcuts and bug fixes.

Per October 2011 desktop browser usage share stats from Net Applications and StatCounter GlobalStats, Google’s Chrome mostly and Apple’s Safari marginally have been growing their respective share of the market at the expense of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox, both on a downward spiral. Chrome is tied in a neck-to-neck race and within spitting distance of Firefox. In fact, Chrome is on its way to become second most-used browser within the next few months. A look at our current logs here at 9to5Google paints a dire picture for Firefox which accounts for 15.82 percent of all visits. This is less than half the 35.81 percent of visits coming from Chrome, which surfaced as the leading browser in 9to5Google logs (Safari is #2, Firefox is #3 and Internet Explorer conveniently ranked fourth).

A snapshot of  9to5Google.com logs reveals browsers readers use to access the site.

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