According to TechCrunch, which spoke at length with Mozilla engineer Jonathan Nightingale, the new browser design is being developed under the name Australis (a theme that first surfaced last summer). Australis, as others have noted, bears a passing resemblance to Google's popular Chrome browser – there are the same rounded tabs, the same clean and spare layout, the same hyper-customizable interface.
The Firefox development team, writes Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch, is working on a set-up that will allow users to "rearrange and remove virtually all the parts of the Firefox interface to suit their needs."
So when will the Firefox redesign arrive? Well, the schedule is a little bit elastic. If you're really itching to get your hands on Australis (and assuming you've got a fair amount of computer know-how), you can install a version from this UX branch, although don't expect perfection, let alone anything that even works consistently. The rest of us should probably just wait for the stable release in October.
As of May, Firefox had about 20 percent of the global browser market (hat tip to TNW), more than Google's Chrome, but considerably less than Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which remains – at a whopping 55.81 percent – the king of the browsers.
In related news, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn has signed on to manufacture a range of Mozilla Firefox OS-powered devices, including a television and a smart phone. For more on Firefox OS, the new mobile operating system from Mozilla, click here. And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.