An engineer with Mozilla hinted that the final Firefox 4 build will be ready for public consumption the following Tuesday, March 22. It’s set to ship on multiple platforms, including Windows XP. Following up on a recent Release Candidate build, Damon Sicore, Mozilla’s senior director of engineering, mentioned the March 22 release date in a Mozilla Development discussion on Google Groups.

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He wrote that powers that be “have indicated that March 22nd is an acceptable final launch date,” but warned that another release candidate is possible should the team encounter last minute setbacks. Firefox 4 is a catch up compared to Chrome 10 and Safari 5, but it does bring several interesting new features.

For example, the browser supports multitouch and packs in a brand new add-ons manager and optimized Javascript interpreter called TraceMonkey, in addition to enhanced HTML5 support. It also conforms to the latest trends by placing the tabs bar above the address bar.

ConceivablyTech reports that “several bugs” have been discovered in the final build that won’t, however, spoil the release plans. Instead, the site writes, these issues will be addressed in a subsequent Firefox 4.0.1 release. Also, Firefox 5 nightly builds are now available for testing purposes here.

UPDATE [March 17, 2011 7:35pm Eastern]

Mozilla’s new CEO Gary Kovacs chimed in, posting this message on the discussion forum:

We set a goal in December, we stressed toward the goal. At times, many thought we, I, us, were crazy, or too aggressive…but in the end, we were able to get it done in March. There is nothing sweeter to observer than brilliant minds focussed on a clear task!

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