Firefox 4 is on the way this month, but Firefox 5, 6 and 7 might also be closer than you think. The developers at Mozilla has now released a roadmap revealing the plans for the Firefox browser this year.

According to the roadmap Mozilla will accelerate the development and distribution of new versions of Firefox much more often than before. If the developers can deliver according to plan, you will see Firefox 7 before the end of 2011. But before that, both Firefox 4, 5 and 6 will be released.

You can read the full roadmap at the Mozilla Wiki, but here is a short description of what to expect in the next versions of the Firefox browsers:

Firefox 5

  • Account Manager
  • Simple Sharing UI
  • UI Animation
  • 64 Bit on Windows
  • …anything that improves responsiveness and is ready
  • …anything that improves stability and is ready
  • …anything that polishes the user interface and is ready
  • …anything else serving product priorities and is ready

Firefox 6

  • Web Applications
  • FasterCache
  • OSX 10.7
  • JS Optimizations
  • …anything that improves responsiveness and is ready
  • …anything that improves stability and is ready
  • …anything that polishes the user interface and is ready
  • …anything else serving product priorities and is ready

Firefox 7

  • e10s? deXBLification?
  • …anything that improves responsiveness and is ready
  • …anything that improves stability and is ready
  • …anything that polishes the user interface and is ready
  • …anything else serving product priorities and is ready

As you can see, in Firefox 7 the developers believe that they’ve completed a project which is called “Electrolysis” or “e10s”, which means that the user interface, plugins and web content will run in separate processes. The result will be a more stable browser with fewer crashes.

Mozilla is obviously in for a very buzy year, but it is certainly needed to keep up with the biggest competitor at the moment, Google Chrome.

(via TechWorld)