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This is it For Firefox 2 Release Candidates

Mozilla is hoping that the third time is the charm for its next-generation Firefox 2.0 Web browser.

The third and likely final release candidate for Firefox 2.0 is now available . The third release candidate follows RC 2 by a little over a week.

"The difference between RC2 and RC3 is basically a small set of some stability fixes and some small security issues that we wanted to make sure made the release," Mozilla's vice president for engineering, Mike Schroepfer told internetnews.com.

Beyond what's in RC3, Schroepfer noted that there are no other release blockers or major bugs that Mozilla has on the radar before the final Firefox 2.0 release.

"So basically at this point we're releasing RC3 to get wider feedback; depending on that feedback RC3 may end up becoming that final release," Schroepfer said.

Mozilla began its public Firefox 2.0 release cycle earlier this year with an Alpha 1 release.

The new browser has since gone through two betas and now three release candidates. Almost from the beginning of the process Mozilla developers had been targeting an October release, and it now looks like they'll meet that target.

"Our goal long had been release for the end of the month but the goal is more about quality than a specific date," Schroepfer said. "So honestly it's going to depend on the feedback from RC3. If there are no show stoppers in RC3 then we should be able to hit the end of the month no problem. "

Firefox 2.0 includes stability and bug fixes over its predecessors in the currently stable Firefox 1.5.x branch.

The new browser also includes a new look, tab overflow, built-in phishing protection, session restore, inline spell checking and numerous other feature tweaks and enhancements.

Mozilla Firefox's principal competitor and the current browser leader Microsoft Internet Explorer is set to release its latest update this month as well.

Currently IE 7 is in its RC1 cycle.

In a recent online chat, Microsoft developers said that IE 7 would be out this month and that it would be part of Microsoft's Automatic Updates in November.