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We've already seen some early concepts for Linux and Windows and there's even an easy-to-install Strata 4 theme (called Strata40) for current versions of Firefox, but let's take a look at some new mock-ups (for the Windows version), shared by Mozilla contributor Stephen Horlander on his personal blog (via dsq).

firefox 4 apps button

1) Apps Button: One of the benefits of the App Button is that it is similar to the way Microsoft is treating its native apps and Office. Another benefit is that the placement is closer to where the Menubar would be and therefore it is more familiar. Several variations of the App Button have been explored:

firefox 4 apps button variations

Various factors of consideration include what color to make it, whether or not to have an icon, just an icon, icon and text, part of the tab bar, a separate button or attached to the top of the window.

2) Refining Toolbar Button Appearance: Some initial work has gone into making the toolbar buttons more visible on light backgrounds and more crisp and dimensional (pressable).

3) Location Bar: Some very early visuals have been created for reevaluating site identity. Also the location bar is now properly recessed instead of floating.

4) Retain Separate Search Bar: With the LocationBar containing an increasing amount of functionality it may be best to retain a clear distinction between the two fields.

5) Bookmarks Widget: On a default profile or existing profile that hasn’t modified the Bookmarks Toolbar it will be hidden by default and the Bookmarks Widget placed in the Navigation Toolbar.

One more thing: if tabs-on-top is not desirable you can change to the classic tabs under the navigation bar:

Tabs on top:

firefox 4.0 tabs on top

Classic tabs:

firefox 4 classic tabs

As you can see, Firefox will remain fully customizable so if you don't like something in Firefox 4.0, you can always use the classic appearance of a certain Firefox feature. Another thing to consider is the themes: you will always be able to change the way Firefox looks by using a theme.

What do you think of these new Firefox 4 (Windows version) mock-ups?