The new version of Firefox will be available for download later today.

After a host of test releases and one false start, version 1.5 of the open-source browser will be ready this afternoon US pacific standard time - evening UK time.

A release outlining its new features, as well as some additional news from the Mozilla Foundation, will be issued tomorrow. The browser will be available for free at www.getfirefox.com and www.mozilla.com.

The browser will include an improved updating system, faster navigation using the "Back" and "Forward" tabs, and a redesigned Options/Preferences window that increases the number of category icons and moves them from the left side of the window to the top.

Firefox 1.5 also adds support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), JavaScript 1.6 and new versions of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

The update includes better pop-up blocking and a host of security improvements, plus the addition of Answers.com to Firefox's list of search engines and a Clear Private Data function that allows users to quickly remove personal data through a menu item or keyboard shortcut.