Mozilla to release a new Firefox version every four weeks starting next year

Firefox moves to monthly releases from current 6-8 weeks release cycle.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
Image: Mozilla

Starting next year, Mozilla plans to release a new Firefox browser version on a monthly basis, every four weeks, the organization announced today.

Currently, Mozilla puts out a new Firefox version on a six-to-eight weeks release schedule, depending on the number of features that ship with each new version.

Over the coming months, Mozilla engineers plan to narrow the gap between releases and start putting out Firefox versions at a faster pace.

The current plan is to have a new Firefox release reach a four-week release cycle by March 2020, according to an updated Firefox release calendar for 2019 and 2020.

Image: Mozilla

At four weeks, Mozilla's new Firefox release cycle will be even shorter than Chrome's standard six-week cycle.

Mozilla said the change to a shorter release cucle was part of a plan to improve the speed at which new features and Web APIs reach Firefox users. Firefox has been lagging in terms of Web API adoption, compared to Google Chrome.

"With four-week cycles, we can be more agile and ship features faster, while applying the same rigor and due diligence needed for a high-quality and stable release," Mozilla said today. "Also, we put new features and implementation of new Web APIs into the hands of developers more quickly."

Mozilla said the shorter release cycle won't affect beta testing and other experiments as Firefox engineers usually keep new features under review for as long as it's needed.

The release cycle for Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release), a Firefox version provided to enterprise environments, will remain the same, Mozilla said, with "a major ESR release every 12 months with 3 months support overlap between new ESR and end-of-life of previous ESR."

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