updated 02:15 pm EST, Mon February 28, 2011
Mozilla will update Firefox more frequently
Mozilla will change the way it handles updates of its Firefox browser, opting to take a Google Chrome-like approach. This means releasing relatively small updates as soon as they're available rather than waiting to release them as part of a larger update, Mozilla VP of product Jay Sullivan told PCPro. Firefox 4 is the last big release the company will issue, he added.
"What we want to do is get the power into users' hands more quickly," Sullivan said, with the video tag that was ready in June but still hasn't shipped listed as an example. It will be included in the Firefox 4 update.
Google has managed to gain significant market share for Chrome in more than a year through a schedule that has often put out a few key feature additions at a time in intervals as small as six weeks. It put out Chrome 9 a month ago and is already on to a Chrome 10 beta. Mozilla has focused mainly on monolithic updates and has been very slowly losing share.
Mozilla also changed the way it handles beta builds of the browser. Firefox 4, for example, is up to 12 betas, whereas older browsers used to have three or four larger ones. The Release Candidate of Firefox 4 is expected to arrive within a few weeks. The large numbers aren't meaningful, says Sullivan, as there are less features added per beta, but more of them.
Firefox 4 was delayed until this year, and the first beta candidate was launched on June 29, 2010.