With relatively little fanfare, Firefox 2.0 was released last week. (Yes, I know, IE 7 was also released recently. Does anybody actually still use IE???)

Firefox 2.0 brings some very nice improvements. My favorite feature is session recovery. Although Firefox is generally pretty stable, it nevertheless suffers the occasional crash. Thanks to session recovery, it is now possible after a restart to continue where one left off before the crash. Firefox can also be configured to always start with the previous session, which is a tremendous improvement. I usually have a few standard tabs open (Gmail, corporate web email, RSS aggregator, company Wiki, etc.), and having all of these open up immediately after starting the browser is a huge time saver. It is surprising that it took so long to add this functionality (after all Opera has had this for at least 5 years), but I’m glad that it’s finally available in my favorite browser.

Another very cool feature is inline spell checking, which works with any form field and thus supports webmail, blogs, etc.

In addition, there were several changes to the tabbed interface (for example the close button is now on each tab, as opposed to a single close button on the right hand side), and search now provides suggestions as you type. Firefox 2.0 also seems faster and more responsive to me (on both Mac and Linux).

Last not least, there were many security and privacy enhancements.

Overall, a very worthwhile update, so go grab it!