Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

Summary: Mozilla plans to offer a version of Firefox for enterprise users with a 42-week release cycle.

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TOPICS: Browser
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Mozilla has gone version number crazy, planning to push out a new version of the browser every six weeks. While this might be acceptable to home users, business and enterprise uses find this aggressive update cycle to be too much to handle. In an attempt to appease enterprise users, Mozilla has started talking about an Extended Support Release cycle that would see a browser supported for 42 weeks.

Details over on MozillaWiki:

Mozilla will offer an Extended Support Release (ESR) based on official releases of Desktop Firefox. Releases will be maintained for seven release cycles (42 weeks), with point releases coinciding with regular Firefox releases.

To permit organizations sufficient time for testing and certification, the ESR will have a two cycle (12 week) overlap between the time of a new release and the end-of-life of the previous release. This will allow organizations to qualify and test against Aurora and Beta builds for twelve weeks leading up to the ESR, and an additional 12 weeks to certify and transition to a new ESR.

Here's how it will work note Mozilla's warning on version numbers):

Mozilla are making some early assumptions:

  • Firefox 8 or 9 will be the base code for the initial ESR version
  • Security bugs rated as 'Critical' and 'High' will be backported to the ESR code, allowing for updates
  • ESR will have its own update channel
  • The ESR will be released day-and-date with the Firefox release
  • ESR will not be marketed via mozilla.com other than on the Enterprise wiki page and/or staging servers
  • Firefox 3.6 will be end-of-lifed 12 weeks after the initial ESR is offered

But, Mozilla outlines some risks:

  • The ESR will not have the benefit of large scale testing by nightly and beta groups
  • ESR will be less secure than the regular release of Firefox, as new functionality will not be added at the same pace as Firefox, and only high-risk/impact security patches will be backported
  • There is the potential for confusion among Firefox users between the regular release of Firefox and the ESR
  • Maintaining the ESR will consume development resources that will impact the regular release of Mozilla products
  • The ESR is specifically targeted at groups looking to deploy it within a managed environment and is not intended for use by individuals, nor as a method to mitigate compatibility issues with addons or other software
  • Public (re)distribution of Mozilla-branded versions of the ESR will not be permitted

It'll be interesting to see if this is enough to appease business users.

Topic: Browser

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8 comments
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  • RE: Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

    <I>"<S>Microsoft</S> Mozilla has gone version number crazy, planning to push out a new version of the browser every six weeks."</I>

    :)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

      @Cylon Centurion Wow, nice catch there, I read that line like four times and didn't see it.
      Aerowind
    • RE: Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

      @Cylon Centurion

      Makes one wonder if that was just an innocent oops or a freudian slip due to AKH's normal anti MS blather. One thing is for certain, he doesn't seem to look at the comments regularly.
      whatagenda
    • RE: Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

      @Cylon Centurion
      Shows his bias. You know deep inside he wanted to say something bad about Microsoft but couldn't in this article.
      LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
  • RE: Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

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    alexdan2
  • RE: Mozilla attempts to appease enterprise users with talk of 42-week Firefox release cycle

    The real problem for FF is it's now redundant. Despite these columns and posters, the vast majority of the world uses the browser their OS comes with.

    IE provides a great browser for Windows and Apple has Safari on OS/X. The paranoid or gullible (Chromebook buyers) have Chrome. I believe Chrome also works for those < 1% of Linux users.

    I think version numbers are the least of their problems ;-)
    tonymcs@...
  • Surely Enterprises Are Big Boys

    Surely these big Corporations have proper IT departments and are able to take care of themselves. What does it matter to them what Mozilla's release schedule is? They can take the source code for any version they like and maintain it for in-house use themselves, for as long as they like. What's so hard about that? They're used to bigger, more serious IT projects than a little old Web browser, aren't they?
    ldo17
    • most IT staff couldnt read source code

      @ldo17 nor would they want to maintain browser code, nor would most companies pay for it..

      nor do many of them use Firefox for that matter...
      otaddy