Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

Summary: Mozilla is having trouble convincing Firefox 3.6 users that it's the end of the line and time to upgrade to Firefox 8.0.1.

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TOPICS: Browser
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Mozilla is in a bit of a quagmire. Not only is usage of the Firefox browser declining, and according to some metrics Google's Chrome has pushed it into third place, but it's also having trouble convincing Firefox 3.6 users that it's the end of the line and it's time to upgrade to Firefox 8.0.1.

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According to web metrics firm NetMarketShare, Firefox 3.6 is the second most used version of Mozilla's browser with a usage share of 5.3%, behind Firefox 8 which has a usage share of 7.3%.

Mozilla is now to start notifying Firefox 3.6 users of the new version in the hopes of getting them to upgrade. That might be a tough sell.

The problem is that there's a stalwart group of Firefox 3.6 users who do not like what Mozilla have done with the browser post 3.6. They don't like the new user interface, they don't like the fact that it breaks some plug-ins, they don't like some of the new bugs, and the especially don't like the idea of Mozilla shoving a new browser onto them every six weeks or so.

Firefox 3.6 was the last ‘traditional’ release of the browser before Mozilla switched to a rapid release cycle that sees a new version making an appearance every 6 weeks. In the home environment, this is not a big problem. Sure, some add-ons might break, and people might have to spend a few minutes scratching their heads trying to find things that have moved, but none of this is a deal breaker. For business users, this aggressive release cycle is too much to have to deal with (because enterprise likes to test things before releasing them). It’s simply too much to ask enterprise users to to test a new browser every six weeks, especially when there isn’t much to appeal to enterprise users in those releases. Given this, sticking with version 3.6 makes a lot of sense. Mozilla has outlined plans to offer enterprise users a special version ESR (Extended Support Release) of Firefox that would have a more relaxed 42-week update cycle, but so far no ESR browser has materialized.

I think that it's time that Mozilla announce an End Of Life (EOL) date for Firefox 3.6 and release the ESR version for those who don't want to be saddled with a new browser every six weeks.

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Image creditJenn McGowan

Topic: Browser

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24 comments
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  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    Sorry, I'm not changing...and it's their doing. I have OS X 10.4 on a PPC G4 and I'm not going to spend that much to get the latest greatest free browser. Safari will work fine if it comes to that.
    Bill4
    • TenFourFox

      @Bill4 Just an FYI, there is TenFourFox 8 (http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/), which uses most of the same Mozilla code as Firefox 8, recompiled and optimized for PowerPC. So, if you do decide you want to give it a try, you sort of can. Works pretty smoothly on my dual G4.
      Whyaylooh
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @Bill4<br><br>Safari on OS X 10.4 is already a dead end. It hasn't received a bug fix in slightly over a year now. For that matter, even if you upgraded to OS X 10.5 (the final PowerPC release), you'd still be past the end of the line for Safari support.<br><br>If you want to rely on Safari to provide your Mac-based computer with a web browser running the latest security patches, then you must be running an Intel CPU with at least OS X 10.6.

      Currently, Firefox 3.6.x is the final "official" web browser that continues to receive security patches on your hardware platform. You can look into unofficial builds, such as TenFourFox (mentoned previously) if you really want to stay up-to-date. For what it's worth, I find TenFourFox significantly fater than Firefox 3.6.
      lfmorrison
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    I have 14 different profiles spread over 4 OS (Windows XP, 7, 8 & Ubuntu).
    That doesn't include the 20+ VMs with FF.
    The non-stop updates are a PITA.

    Then of course, all of my add-ons start being updated.
    Each add-on has to be updated in every profile!
    Why can't Mozilla create a global add-on section, for add-ons that all profiles need (e.g. Adblock & NoScript)?

    I'd much rather Mozilla spent 6 months optimizing and then release an update, than this current nonsense.
    Obviously security updates should be released ASAP.
    lehnerus2000
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @lehnerus2000 They are spending months... then it gets pushed into the Alpha channel for 6 weeks, and if everything plays nice together it gets put into Beta for another 6 weeks of polish, and then finally it gets released. It's not like code is going from conception to release in 6 weeks. It's just that the pipeline is full. 8 is the current version, but 9 and 10 are in the pipeline and 11 is being actively coded.

      Since all of the plugins should be updating automatically, I don't see what the huge hassle is. Ditch the XP, Win7 and Win8 and you'd have automatic Firefox updating too. :-)
      jgm2
      • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

        @jgm@...
        "[i]They are spending months... then it gets pushed into the Alpha channel for 6 weeks, and if everything plays nice together it gets put into Beta for another 6 weeks of polish, and then finally it gets released.[/i]"
        The trouble with that theory is, within days of releasing their latest version, there is an update to fix some problem.
        What did they test during that time?

        "[i]Since all of the plugins should be updating automatically, I don't see what the huge hassle is.[/i]"
        I have to start 24+ OS and waste several minutes waiting for the FF update to download and install.
        I then have to restart FF (on each OS).
        I then have to waste several minutes waiting for the add-on updates to download and install.
        I then have to restart FF (on each OS).

        I have the auto-update off, so that my customised add-ons don't get overwritten.
        For example, I have a customised version of Personal Menu (the original version only supports the awful orange button).

        "[i]Ditch the XP, Win7 and Win8 and you'd have automatic Firefox updating too.[/i]"
        The trouble is that programs I use (except GIMP and FF) don't work in Linux.
        Using a Windows VM doesn't solve the problem, as Ubuntu won't release USB devices (to the VMs) without a trip to the Terminal (you know, the thing that [b]no one ever has to use[/b]).

        All the media players I have tried, are worse than the Windows ones.
        To be fair, the Windows media players are generally awful too.

        Ubuntu 10 only supports FF 3.6.x.
        I manually installed FF 4, so I have to manually update from inside FF.
        Everytime 3.6.x updates, I have to reset my program links.
        lehnerus2000
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    I can't move on from Firefox 3.6 because Remember The Milk todo list works with Google Gears on 3.6, but later versions of Firefox break Google Gears, so if I want offline access to Remember The Milk, I am stuck with Firefox 3.6.
    4miler
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @4miler

      Google Gears? Wasn't that canned?
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

        @Cylon Centurion Exactly. The people who won't move on from 3.6 don't move on from anything. :-)
        jgm2
    • Silly wabbits

      People are whining about nothing

      What you have here are a bunch of Chrome fanbuis and Microsoft shills spreading disinformation so people will leave FF in droves and go to their particular browser. A choice between spyware vs. a bundled proprietary tool.

      The fact that this guy is whining about an old, old plug-in speaks volumes.
      ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    Well, again and again they claim to be fixing the memory issues.

    And again and again people have issues after leaving the browser run overnight.

    People have simply been burned too many times.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @CobraA1 Idk I leave mine open basically all the time. I restart it once a day for the updates but other than that I dont ever really restart it so idk
      Jimster480
    • @CobraA1 .. you're right

      ... FF 8.0.1 still randomly locks (i'm getting intermittent locks for 5-10 seconds) after having the browser open for over a couple of hours or so. Typically, a F5 resolves the issue. But it almost certainly points to FF memory leaking. I hope Mozilla resolve this as it is a blemish on an otherwise great browsing experience, overall.<br><br>That aside, i have no other issues to note with 8.0.1.
      thx-1138_
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    The problem with the constant updates in a corporate environment is that we have to keep vetting each new version, adjust all of the lockdown scripts that we have in place, and verify that each of them works with the new version. Usually this not a problem, but when a new feature is introduced we have to go through all of the new features and set them to fit policy.

    If Google really wants to crush Firefox and IE in the corporate world, they need to create a customization tool that allows administrators to customize a few features. Namely start page, home page, where to store cache files, and proxy settings. If they did that we would probably switch to Chrome without thinking.
    webguy1
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @webguy@... "we would probably switch to Chrome without thinking."

      I always suspected that much of what goes on in the corporate IT world occurred without thinking; now I have evidence. ;-)

      I'll never forget the time my department's shared network drive filled up and IT was running around like chickens with their head cut off rather than just give us more space. They finally dreamed up the "solution" of having the department head remove access to the shared drive from those who DON'T NEED TO USE IT. I even repeated that to our Director three times to be clear; yes, that was the solution. Funny it didn't reduce usage. :-) I quit a few weeks later.
      jgm2
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    Anyone wanna bet that the folks still on 3.6 are also still using Windows XP?

    Wings of a feather...
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    I am using 7.01 and I have not decided to upgrade. Every time they make changes the plugins do not work any more, so you have to wait until they have been changed. To me that is a big pain in the behind!!
    woodiebear001
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @woodiebear@... Switch to modern, maintained plugins! Or use the plugin that Firefox makes to allow you to use the plugins anyway and report back to them with a single click whether they work or not so they can update the database! It's not Mozilla that's the problem here... there are solutions you're simply not availing yourself of.
      jgm2
  • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

    Well it is their own fault, idk what is up with this rapid release cycle. I update my browser every night since I run nightly 64 but still, I can see where businesses would not like this at all. They alienated many of their users with the newer versions and I think that is why Chrome's usage spiked so high.
    Jimster480
    • RE: Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1

      @Jimster480 ...which also has frequent versions. It's called Agile Development and it's quite popular nowadays. It's infinitely better than the years that went between Firefox 3.6 and 4.0. Do you expect Firefox to compete with Chrome by waiting 4 years to release a new version?
      jgm2