Mozilla Delivers New Firefox Versions at Rapid-Fire Pace
Mozilla announced its intent to pursue a new rapid release cycle early this year, and while the company's recent release of version 5 of the Firefox browser is being met with much less criticism than the previous version 4, we've reported on the fact that not everyone is happy with the speed of the releases. Enterprise IT administrators may be among the most unhappy observers. Still, if you're keeping track, Mozilla is more on target to please users with rapidly delivered, high-quality versions of Firefox than it ever was before.
It's worth remembering that heading into this year, just before Mozilla announced its new rapid release cycle plans for Firefox, the browser hadn't even reached version 4.0. Meanwhile, Google Chrome was snapping up browser market share with new and improved versions showing up every couple of months. In fact, Chrome's development cycle is a big part of why Mozilla stepped up its release cycle for Firefox.
Now, as PC World notes, Mozilla is moving ahead with versions 6, 7 and 8 of Firefox:
"Firefox 6, for example, reached the beta stage on Friday with versions ready for testing on Linux, Windows, Mac, and Android....Among the new additions to the desktop version are the capability to check that plug-ins are up-to-date directly from the Add-ons Manager, as well as improved Panorama Groups, allowing users to reduce browser startup time by loading only saved tab groups when they use Panorama."
Of particular note is the fact that Mozilla is efficiently dealing with the problems that have arisen with Firefox extensions slowing browser performance to a crawl. Many OStatic readers chimed in with criticisms of Firefox version 4 for its problems with extensions, with comments like this showing up:
"I have also reverted back to Firefox 3.6 after trying to use Firefox 4 for only two days. Several times in those two days, the application would continue to run but was unresponsive to input."
It appears that since then, Mozilla has made changes to accommodate its new rapid release cycle. Meanwhile, Firefox 7 is available now on the Aurora channel, and Firefox 8 has appeared in the Nightly channel with early reports showing it to perform very well in benchmark tests.
We'll see if Mozilla can keep all of these balls in the air, but if you're a Firefox user who was lamenting the fact that Google Chrome was eating your favorite browser's lunch, it looks like that situation is being reversed.