The Mozilla Foundation has released a beta version of Firefox 1.5, hosting a slew of improvements.

The publishers describe it as: "A redesign of Mozilla's browser component, written using the XUL (XML User Interface Language) and designed to be cross-platform. It includes a pop-up blocker, tabbed browsing, a smarter search, hassle free downloading, and improved privacy and security."

New features include automatic software updates, faster browser navigation, drag-and-drop reordering for browser tabs, RSS discovery and "profile migration" from Safari and Internet Explorer.

The beta release also ramps up its support for current and emerging Web standards.

Different beta versions of the browser are available for Mac, Linux and Windows systems.

The company warns: "This is not the final release of our Web browser, it has been made available for testing purposes only, with no end-user support."