You know what they say – the old has gone, and the new has come. Mozilla has just announced that they will be retiring their Firefox 4 browser – strange, isn’t it, considering Firefox 4 shipped a mere three months ago. Well, at least Firefox 5 is now the de facto browser from Mozilla. Tuesday’s Firefox 5 release also saw Mozilla spel out the list of vulnerabilities it patched in that edition alongside 2010′s Firefox 3.6, although there was no mention of any bugs fixed in Firefox 4.
Basically, Mozilla says that Firefox 4 has arrived at what they call EOL – short of “end of life” when it comes to vulnerability patches. This might have come across as a surprise for users, but this is not a decision that was made lightly, as Mozilla’s developers and managers discussed about the matter for weeks on end.
This does seem to be a precedent that Google’s Chrome set, where it will outline patches applied only to the current “stable” build, while flaws in earlier editions are not patched – simply because the Chrome browser will automatically update the browser in the background so that more or less all users will run the most secure version at all times.