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I have downloaded Firefox 8.0 but gmail etc have message do not support browser and suggest I update.

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I uninstalled the beta version 4.0 and have downloaded 8.0 several times. When I go to gmail I get a message at the top that my browser is not supported and I should get the latest version . . .

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Your UserAgent string in Firefox is messed up by another program that you installed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_Agent

type about:config in the URL bar and hit Enter
If you see the warning, you can confirm that you want to access that page.
Filter = general.useragent.
Right-click the preferences that are bold, one line at a time, and select Reset.
Then restart Firefox