Mozilla Not Interested In Expanding Firefox’s Market Share
If you’re a Firefox user who was a little surprised by the rather sudden appearance of v.5, and the concomitant deprecation of the brand-new v.4, you’re not alone. Mozilla’s rapid-release program has roiled more than a few corporate IT programs.
Some corporate IT managers are unhappy with Mozilla’s decision to push out new editions of Firefox every six weeks with its new rapid-release program….
When Mozilla launched Firefox 5 on Tuesday, it immediately retired the predecessor, Firefox 4, from security support, meaning it will not patch vulnerabilities in the three-month old browser. Instead, Mozilla considers Firefox 5 to be not only the newest edition, but also the security update to Firefox 4.
That may work for consumers, but it doesn’t for enterprises, said Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC.
Not so much for consumers, either. Several add-ons I rely upon — Google Toolbar, most notably — are now disabled until they’re updated to the new version. While I expect that will happen in fairly short order, the same issue facing IT managers — whether to put 5.0 into the testing cycle in the hope that it will still be supported when the time comes to roll it out — also faces add-on developers.
When Firefox 6 ships — it’s now slated to debut Aug. 16 — Firefox 5 will be retired, and users will be encouraged to upgrade to that version to receive security updates and any new features packaged with the new browser.
The same will hold true on Sept. 27, when Firefox 7 is to launch, on Nov. 8 with Firefox 8 and on Dec. 20 when Firefox 9 debuts: In each case, the preceding edition will be retired.
If this were a one-time event because version 4 has major issues, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But it isn’t. Mozilla has made the inexplicable decision to announce that their product will never be viable long enough to be useful. At least, not to anyone who needs it to be a reliable platform.
(H/T R.S. McCain)