You may have noticed that the usual suspects are already reporting that a new stable version of the Mozilla Firefox browser has been released by Mozilla. While it is true that a build has been moved to the release server, we have seen in the past that this version can get replaced in last minute if the build does not pass the company's quality controls.
Instead of going ahead and downloading this release on machines running Firefox stable, users are asked to wait until the official release confirmation on the Mozilla website and in the browser before they update.While it is usually not a big issue to update early on home systems, it can be against guidelines in organizations and businesses.
Firefox users who do not want to wait, can download Firefox 12 final from third party download portals like Softpedia or Major Geeks, or the Mozilla release server. Since Firefox 12 stable does not fix security issues nor big changes feature-wise, there is not really a reason to hurry up on the update though.
The main source of information when it comes to Firefox 12 are the beta release notes. While features may be added in the final release notes, it is unlikely that this is going to happen unless we see a last minute issue being resolved by the release.
Firefox 12 streamlines the updating process for Windows users, reducing the number of prompts for users of the operating system by one. Firefox users who paste download urls directly in the download manager will now notice that downloads start automatically when they do so.
Another change is the centering of search results of the browser's find in page feature. A bug was fixed on Mac versions of the browser that was degrading the performance when WebGL contents were accessed.
The remaining features are all developer related.
Firefox 12 is now displayed line numbers when you look at the page source code, which can be very useful in finding references in the code. Developers furthermore can make use of two new CSS properties: column-fill and text-align-last are now both supported by the web browser.
Developers also benefit from - experimental - support for ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects.
Four of the five known issues have been carried over from Firefox 11. This includes slow scrolling in the Gmail window for some users, a crash when you start to load a locked Firefox profile, inability to scroll vertically on some synaptic touch pads, and that the use of Microsoft's System Restore feature after a Firefox update may prevent future updates of the browser.
Firefox users on beta, aurora and nightly channels can expect that their version of the browser gets updated to a new version in the coming days as wells. This means that Firefox 12 beta users will be upgraded to Firefox 13 beta, Firefox 13 Aurora users to Firefox 14 Aurora, and that nightly channel users will be moved to Firefox 15.