Firefox 2.0 slated for August 2006 release Page: 1
Firefox emblem

Those open source lads from Mozilla are currently hard at work, ramping up for the release of Firefox vers. 2.0 sometime in August 2006. Currently in alpha form (2.0a2), the browser really doesn't show any change cosmetically from what we are used to. The changes  we can expect though are the inclusion of some new features. The top five of which I'll give a brief mention of here:

1) Places - based on SQLite, the Places function is designed to make it easier to use and access bookmarks, browsing history and RSS subscriptions. Although it looks like the IE sidebar, it is far more functional and enables users to construct queries over bookmarks and histories.
2) Enhanced Tabs - Mozilla is further enhancing the tab browsing system for flicking between open pages. Firefox 2.0 alpha offers little X buttons on the tabs to close pages, and Mozilla is trying to make the system syncronise better with the Places function - and more compatible with third party web applications.
3) Making History - Mozilla is trying to go beyond the auto-complete URL bar, adding a drop down History menu along with File View and Edit. Part of this new function is the MozStorage system, which enables users to execute a search query on the last 100 pages visited.
4) Extension Blocklisting - In an attempt to protect Firefox users, Mozilla has created a Blocklist of extensions which are found to be flawed or to create vulnerabilities. This list will be provided via an automatic software update function and will warn users before disabling offending plug-ins.
5) Improved RSS - Making it easier to access news feeds and podcasts, Mozilla has substantially enhanced it's RSS functions by enabling users to organise and create individual tabs for different feeds. Improvements in feed handling  mean Firefox 2.0 alpha also offers easier access to RSS aggregators, client applications, and webservices (as well as a drop-down feed menu).

You can view the Mozilla Firefox roadmap here
The development schedule here
OSDir has some screenshots of alpha1 here

Are you excited about Firefox vers 2.0, if you are let us know your thoughts