Last night, I took a chance and downloaded the nightly build of Firefox 3.7 Alpha 4 Preview. I was impressed with the UI enhancements, and also with what was under the hood. Please know that this version is not recommended for daily use, but only for previewing the new features, as there are still many bugs that need to be worked out.
DirectWrite hardware acceleration is not enabled out of the box at this point in the release process, but can be enabled by navigating to about:config, and changing the gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled setting to true.
I don’t have a screenshot for this, but you can see an example of Aero Glass above. Apparently, the glass-like effect provided by Windows Aero was turned off in the latest builds due to a few bugs, but to my knowledge, future versions of Firefox will support Aero-based themes.
Projected release date for Firefox 3.7: May/June 2010
Projected release date for Firefox 4.0: October/November 2010, early 2011?
As far as I’m concerned, the sooner they release these new features, the better. These features represent major productivity enhancements, and I want to use them!