While most of the Firefox using world was excited when the latest version of the web browser, Firefox 5 was officially released last week, it looks like there are a number of users weren’t pleased about it. The people in question? Corporations that have decided to adopt Mozilla Firefox as its main web browser. Most corporations have been used to updating their web browsing software less frequently i.e. once a year and this new rapid-release schedule approach isn’t something that they agree with.
Mozilla recently decided to release updates more frequently in an attempt to compete with Google’s Chrome development cycle (Google releases a new version of Chrome every six weeks). While this allows Mozilla to fix vulnerabilities much more quickly and include new features at a faster pace, new versions of the browser has its disadvantages as well.
Web apps designed to run on a previous version of the browser might not work with the new version, and so will a lot of extensions. A rapid release cycle means that these companies have to use outdated versions of web browsers in order to continue using their web apps – which is a problem if there is a vulnerability that isn’t fixed in the old browser, but is only fixed in the latest version of the browser that hasn’t been tested to work with the web app.
In defense of their current move, Mozilla has responded by saying large IT Corporations aren’t its target audience in the first place. “”We recognize that this shift may not be compatible with a large organization’s IT policy and understand that it is challenging to organizations that have effort-intensive certification polices. However, our development process is geared toward delivering products that support the Web as it is today, while innovating and building future Web capabilities. Tying Firefox product development to an organizational process we do not control would make it difficult for us to continue to innovate for our users and the betterment of the Web.”
This means that Firefox has been designed for individuals in mind, and not corporations. I guess those corporations will be reverting back to Internet Explorer since it doesn’t have such a rapid release cycle that is more suited for large corporations. What do you think of Firefox’s current rapid-release schedule? Or do you prefer it when releases were less frequent?