Firefox 40 has a new look for Windows 10, rethinks security

Firefox 40, the latest version of Mozilla's popular web browser boasts a new look and a new approach to extension security.

The browser's revamped aesthetic is built to better gel with the newly released Windows 10, featuring bolder design elements, slightly larger icons for touchscreen devices, and a more streamlined interface to maximise browsing space.

Firefox 40 is also able to replace Cortana's default Bing search with a search engine of the user's choice, and is currently the only browser that can do so without the use of an extension. Google is however expected to follow suit with Chrome.

In addition, extension developers are now required to have their add-ons – such as AdBlock Plus – certified by Mozilla.  In Firefox 40, users will start seeing warnings next to uncertified extensions. In future releases, any third party extension that hasn't received certification will be disabled by default. Google utilises a similar certification process for Chrome extensions.

Mozilla Adds-on Developer Relation Lead Jorge Villalobos says this change will make Firefox and its add-ons safer, counteracting extensions that affect the browsing experience without the user's consent.

"Extensions that change the homepage and search settings without user consent have become very common, just like extensions that inject advertisements into Web pages or even inject malicious scripts into social media sites," wrote Villabolos. "We’re responsible for our add-ons ecosystem and we can’t sit idle as our users suffer due to bad add-ons."

Firefox 40 is available now. Users can see if their version of Firefox is up to date by opening the settings menu (designated by three parallel lines), clicking the question mark icon in the bottom right hand corner and then selecting "About Firefox".

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