Firefox 3 is less system-heavy than its predecessor and any other PC web browser. That’s according to commentators who’ve been testing the public beta versions of Mozilla’s new Firefox software.

Reports are that Firefox 3 uses about half the amount of system memory as version two. And that means it’s a lot slicker, and smoother to use.

One of the weaknesses of Firefox 2 is that it is more intensive to run on a PC than it should be, making it unsuitable for use on phones and mobile devices. But despite that, market share for Mozilla’s browser has steadily been growing ever since it first launched in 2004.

Firefox ready to soar?

Internet Explorer 7 is also regularly accused of being clunky, and Microsoft too is working on making IE8 a lot smoother. However, as has been the trend over the last few years, Mozilla is far closer to releasing its new browser than Microsoft is.

Mozilla says that the smaller memory footprint of the new browser paves the way for it to be used on mobile devices.

Firefox 3 beta 4 is available to download from the Mozilla website. We've also taken a first look at the release.