Mozilla Proceeds with Rapid Firefox Updates, Despite Bumps in the Road

by Sam Dean - Aug. 31, 2011Comments (1)

Mozilla announced its intent to pursue a new rapid release cycle early this year, and while the company has taken some criticism for performance problems in new versions, it is true that the rapid release cycle has remained on track. Some of the most heated criticism of the rapid release cycle has come from IT administrators, as we've reported. It's easy for consumers to forget that businesses have much more stringent requirements for accepting new applications of all sorts, including browsers, into mainstream use. Businesses have security requirements surrounding adoption of new applications. That's why recent reports from a former community lead for Mozilla about alleged bugs in Firefox are of concern.

PCMag has reported on the claims concerning bugs here, including reported issues involving bugs overwhelming volunteers trying to deal with them. It's no surprise to see these reports appearing, especially if you consider the pace of development that Mozilla followed with Firefox prior to this year. 

Remember, Mozilla has delivered multiple new versions of the browser since February, but there wasn't even a version 4.0 of Firefox prior to 2011. The company's rapid release cycle for the browser came in direct response to how quickly Google Chrome was getting updated. And, as extensive new browser performance test have shown, Chrome still seems to retain a significant performance advantage over Firefox.

One thing that Mozilla has not done with regard to the rapid release cycle is back down. Firefox 6 and 7 have mostly gotten good notices for the improvements they include, but IT administrators will undoubtedly pay attention to the reports coming out about bugs, and will remain vigilant about security protocols pertaining to new browsers. When it comes to browsers, consumer acceptance is not the only game in town.

John Mark Walker uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


Firefox just got a 30% performance boost and will only get faster and faster from now on.

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