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WordPress 3.2 Beta 1 Available for Download Now

The latest version of WordPress — 3.2 Beta 1 — is now available for download. Interested parties can grab the .zip file and install away.

The new release brings a slew of interesting features, including a new theme, a facelift for the Admin UI, new fullscreen composing modes and more.

Also new for WordPress 3.2, Internet Explorer 6 will no longer be supported.

The beta promises speed and performance fixes “like you wouldn’t believe,” a more useful admin bar, and notifications about browser updates. The “distraction-free writing” mode gives users fullscreen composing capabilities for both HTML and visual modes.

The new default theme for WordPress 3.2 is Twenty Eleven. It features rotating header images and post format support, among other goodies.

If all goes well, we hope to release WordPress 3.2 by the end of June, though that is (again, as always) subject to change depending on how the beta period goes. The more help we get with testing and fixing bugs, the sooner we will be able to release the final version. If you want to be a beta tester, you should check out the Codex article on how to report bugs.

Here’s some of what’s new:

  • Performance improvements like you wouldn’t believe. What’s that mean? Things are faster!
  • Distraction-free Writing. The visual editor’s full-screen composing experience has gotten a major overhaul, and is now available from HTML mode, too. More than ever, WordPress allows you to focus on what matters most — your content.
  • Admin UI Refresh. The last major redesign of the WordPress admin was in 2008. This isn’t a major redesign, just a little facelift to keep us feeling young. WordPress turns 8 later this month, you know.
  • New Default Theme. Introducing Twenty Eleven, based on the popular Duster theme. Rotating header images, post format support, and more.
  • Browse Happy. WordPress is made to work with modern browsers. If you visit your Dashboard using an outdated web browser, we’ll let you know there’s a newer version available.
  • Admin Bar. We’ve added more links to the admin bar to make it even more useful.
Be Aware:
  • WordPress has new minimum system requirements: PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0.
  • Internet Explorer 6 will no longer be supported.
  • The favorites menu has been removed. If you’ve written any plugins that use this menu, it’s time to switch over to an admin bar placement.
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