Mozilla just wrapped up the Firefox 3.5 release a few weeks ago, but they are already going to town on what they can do for future improvements. When they redesigned Firefox 3.0 I thought the new designs were okay, but they weren’t anything that seemed to be revolutionary.

What’s neat about Mozilla, however, is that they’re not afraid to show the world what they’re thinking about doing months or even years ahead of time. They aren’t afraid of the competition coming along and outdoing them, and as a result they can get a lot of quality feedback so that they can fine tune the various aspects of the browser before it gets shipped out to the world.

Keeping in that spirit Mozilla has released some rather polished mockups of the route they’re thinking about going for Firefox 3.7. There’s no word on when Firefox 3.7 is planned to be available, but the last I heard Firefox 3.6 is due out in mid-2010. I’m guessing that puts Firefox 3.7 somewhere in 2011. So don’t get too excited quite yet, because by the time that version is released these design styles may already be outdated.

Below you’ll find some of the various mockups for Firefox 3.7 on Windows, and then I also stumbled upon one Firefox 4.0 mockup that is more of the “hand drawn” style. Before I jump into the screenshots I wanted to pull a quote that I found on the MozillaWiki:

This is sometimes a hard area to explore. Windows applications are not known for their visual design savvy.

They then go on to reference Paint (the Windows 7 version), Zune Player software, and Postbox as being three applications that have nice interfaces. They also mention wanting to remove the Menu Bar, and making the entire interface a bit more streamlined. The screenshots show that they are doing just that:

Firefox 3.7 Mockups (click thumbnail to enlarge)

firefox 37 vista.jpg firefox 37 vista no aero.jpg firefox 37 xp.jpg

Firefox 4.0 Mockup (click thumbnail to enlarge)

firefox 4 mockup.jpg

So what do you think? Is Mozilla on the right track? By the time they actually get these out the door will they already be labeled as outdated?

via Mozilla Wiki [here and here]
Thanks Christian!