Firefox 3.6 to get auto-upgrade to Firefox 12 in May

Earlier this week, Mozilla shut down offical support for the 3.6 version of Firefox. Now it looks like the web browser's creators at Mozilla are going to try to force the remaining Firefox 3.6 owners to upgrade to the newest version of the software. Computerworld.com reports that Mozilla plans to auto-upgrade Firefox 3.6 to the current Firefox 12 sometime in early May.

Mozilla has been warning Firefox 3.6 users for some time that it would be making this upgrade. Alex Keybl, Firefox's release manager, said in an email, "Users will be automatically updated unless they have specifically disabled updates. However, we strongly advise our users to upgrade from Firefox 3.6, as they will no longer receive critical security updates."

If you happen to be running Firefox 3.6 on Windows and don't want to make the change to Firefox 12, you can disable the auto-upgrade by going to the Options menu, then click on "Options" again, click on the "Updates" tab, and finally choose the "Never check for updates" option.

Firefox 3.6 was first released in January 2010. Mozilla released a number of security updates for that version of the browser in the past two years. It released its final security update for Firefox 3.6 on January 31.

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44 Comments

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If I didn't need an extension just to have a real status bar again, I would be glad to switch to Firefox 4 (it is still Firefox 4 no matter how many times they inflate the number). I may be stubborn about wanting a native status bar, but the Firefox team was stubborn about not giving me the option for one. I'm not going to use Chrome, and I don't want to use Firefox if it's like Chrome, so I'm stuck with 3.6.28.

Everyone talks about how the security is so much better in newer versions, but what's more important than being able to see where a link takes you? It needs to be displayed in a safe area of the browser that a webpage doesn't control, and it needs to do that with no lag whatsoever. Also, the option to have link addresses displayed in the address bar is just ridiculous because you need to be able to compare a link's address with the current page address.

One of the main reasons I moved over to Chrome was to get away from the awful extensions system of Firefox. When it was first implemented it offered much better functionality than IE, especially with the likes of AdBlock. However, over time it became a nightmare to deal with incompatibilities, while startup time slowed to a crawl as Firefox checked for updates to extensions.

Chrome was - and remains - simple. It auto-updates. It auto-syncs your bookmarks. It has better standards compliance. It performs better. It has better security. It has a better interface. And extension support is excellent. Firefox became the new IE, at which point I moved over to the new Firefox: Chrome.

Thanks for the warning!
Firefox updates : OFF

I would however like to be notified when they have fixed the broken apis in 4.0+ so i can get my addons working.

Because THAT is why we don't "up"-grade, its THAT simple!
NOT becuse we "hate progress", or whatever these stupid **** claim.

Edited by Eric, May 1 2012, 2:27am :

jingarelho said,
i only have one installation of 3.6, it is on my powerbook and i would love to upgrade to 12 if they make a PPC version of it.

I used 3.6 on my PB until I found TenFourFox, I think its faster than the rest of the PPC browsers...

I know about it, but sadly doesn't support plugins

Jack O Neill said,

I used 3.6 on my PB until I found TenFourFox, I think its faster than the rest of the PPC browsers...

Actually one of the reasons why I and some others are staying with 3.6 is because the hardware acceleration option causes BSOD's and even when I disable it as well. The current version of Firefox works great on my laptop however so I do use both old and new.

3.6 is ANCIENT in browser years. I think silent upgrading, like what chrome does, is how it should be done for low-impact programs like browsers. If you REALLY want 3.6 so badly you can get a portable version. Browsers need to stay up-to-date for security reasons as well as to ensure we don't get stuck with another problem like what we've seen with the stubborn IE6 that people refuse to let go... ugh.

I finally upgraded a couple of days ago. With things like FF3 theme for FF4, Status4Evar I got it looking just like FF3. I found a replacement for my cookie manager and favicon changer that weren't compatible with FF4 and upwards. All my other extensions worked when upgraded but Greasemonkey sucks balls now.
I hate that you no longer get a RSS feed icon in the location bar. You have to click bookmarks to see if the site/section your on has a feed.

I wouldn't call it "Forcing" users if you can disable updates in the browser. That's somewhat an option that everyone has on all browsers.

Dot Matrix said,
So, you're going to put yourself at personal risk because of a UI change? Idiots.

I am sure there are many other reasons

There's no risk yet. Besides you can make FF(whatever the hell number we are on right now) look like 3.6. Just install a couple of things.

Dot Matrix said,
So, you're going to put yourself at personal risk because of a UI change? Idiots.

Yes, let's call the people who will have decreased efficiency and workflow along with increased aggrivation and loss of old addons they use daily idiots.

Think before you make a comment. This is a perfectly valid reason not to upgrade to a newer version of software.

Dot Matrix said,
So, you're going to put yourself at personal risk because of a UI change? Idiots.

And because higher versions of FF are not compatible with all software out there. Blackboard, for example, is not certified and will therefore not be supported. I don't know about you, but I don't want a browser incompatibility issue when I'm in the middle of taking a timed quiz.

most decent addons supprt firefox 10,11,12......which dont should be compatible by default...so there is a high chance your addons will work....

Well this is going to make my job a bit harder. Need to make sure to disable the updates on a few computers at work. Shouldn't be forcing this on anyone without the prompt. If people choose to not upgrade, let them make that choice.

ILikeTobacco said,
Well this is going to make my job a bit harder. Need to make sure to disable the updates on a few computers at work. Shouldn't be forcing this on anyone without the prompt. If people choose to not upgrade, let them make that choice.

I think it's cute that the 'problems' with IE that drove business IT departments to recommend switching to Firefox have magically persisted anyway.

Joshie said,

I think it's cute that the 'problems' with IE that drove business IT departments to recommend switching to Firefox have magically persisted anyway.

lol oh soo true

ILikeTobacco said,
Well this is going to make my job a bit harder. Need to make sure to disable the updates on a few computers at work.
Stop turning Firefox into the next IE6.

ILikeTobacco said,
Well this is going to make my job a bit harder. Need to make sure to disable the updates on a few computers at work. Shouldn't be forcing this on anyone without the prompt. If people choose to not upgrade, let them make that choice.
You have to update to ESR version then

ILikeTobacco said,
Well this is going to make my job a bit harder. Need to make sure to disable the updates on a few computers at work. Shouldn't be forcing this on anyone without the prompt. If people choose to not upgrade, let them make that choice.

Ah yes, "my choice doesn't impact on anyone else" - famous last words having worked at an ISP.

ScottDaMan said,
Stop turning Firefox into the next IE6.

Stop telling business how they have to run their networks. This upgrade would cost my company over $50k in new software licenses. Since you don't know anything about how the real world of business operates, I don't suggest telling business how to do its thing. Only makes you out to be an idiot for everyone to see.

ILikeTobacco said,

Stop telling business how they have to run their networks. This upgrade would cost my company over $50k in new software licenses. Since you don't know anything about how the real world of business operates, I don't suggest telling business how to do its thing. Only makes you out to be an idiot for everyone to see.

Doesn't sound like an idiot. In the modern world its surprising an I.T person would pick a piece of software costing circa $50 that is tired to particular versions of a web browser. This "ie6" mentality held back the web for a long time.

Zerosignull said,

Doesn't sound like an idiot. In the modern world its surprising an I.T person would pick a piece of software costing circa $50 that is tired to particular versions of a web browser. This "ie6" mentality held back the web for a long time.

I think you missed the k in that. $50,000. Not $50. $50,000. Anyone who claims they know 100% of all circumstances for all business and think it is outdated to use software that works is an idiot regardless how you spin it. Business work on money. Not principle. Business buy software based on how long they can use it so they get their money's worth. For a company, or an individual, to tell business how to do what they need to do and how to spend thousands of dollars, that is idiotic. There is a reason you separate workers from managers, and this is exactly the reason.

Nobody here is going to argue that the new versions of FF are safer and more secure. That is not the issue here so don't bother saying it is. The issue is that IT has no place forcing business decisions that are not sound. Unless you know every single detail and every single reason for why my company HAS to use 3.6 and no other version, claiming anything about that decision makes you foolish. There is a tactical and long term strategic reason for using 3.6 that over the course of years has is saving over $100k. Because you are ignorant to those reasons, you have no place calling anyone stupid or anything else. If you think you do, you need to get over yourself and realize in the real world, people make choices based on real world things such as money, not ideologies about how to run an IT department.

ILikeTobacco said,

derp

so a company staying with a slower and less capable browser *saves* money? how's that? and 50k? is your company about to file for chapter eleven that you can't afford a 50k investment on something that will improve productivity, thus, you are getting more work done in the same time?
I always hate these speechs about how a company "saves" money in the long run by being cheap asses on software or hardware, when spending that money would actually give a greater ROI in the short term (happier employees are more productive, and faster or better soft and hardware help you complete your tasks quicker)

ILikeTobacco said,
Stop telling business how they have to run their networks. This upgrade would cost my company over $50k in new software licenses. Since you don't know anything about how the real world of business operates, I don't suggest telling business how to do its thing. Only makes you out to be an idiot for everyone to see.

Why would upgrading from Firefox 3.6 to Firefox 12 require over $50,000 worth of new software licences? It sounds like a classic case of the IT department taking shortcuts in order to make less work for itself, only to increase the cost and effort required further down the line. Relying on obsolete software is BAD practice and deserves absolutely no sympathy.

_Heracles said,
Why not? Firefox 12 is decent.

I know several people who are stubborn to the changes made to the UI and not everything can be made perfectly like it was in 3.6 with extensions/themes. I personally keep mine up to date so doesn't bother me any.

Sounds like the most customizable browser is not for them if they can't be bothered to customize it to their needs.

ensiform said,

I know several people who are stubborn to the changes made to the UI and not everything can be made perfectly like it was in 3.6 with extensions/themes. I personally keep mine up to date so doesn't bother me any.

still1 said,

there are some fools out there...

Yes there are. Just look at all the "fools" right here on Neowin who had been thinking this was such a great browser! They've all turned their back on it now and are still foolish enough to think Chrome is now the greatest thing on Earth!!

Then you have all the "fools" who can't update the browser because of addons, which are a security risk and cause issues themselves with the browser. Then there are the fools who won't update it just because of the looks of it!! Sheesh!!

Personally,
Only 2 addons that are even worth messing with, IMO.

Have never used Firefox on Windows for more than a couple minutes, as that's about how long it takes to realize it stinks, but do use Palemoon 3x version on a couple of old machines. Will have to see how this pans out.

_Heracles said,
Why not? Firefox 12 is decent.

exactly. there is basically close to zero reason someone would actually WANT to use Firefox 3.6 over Firefox 12 as FF12 is just all around faster.

about the only thing i might be able to think of is memory use but even that is generally good on Firefox 12 these days.

so i figure as long as your on Windows XP with 1GB or RAM or more or Windows Vista/7 with about 2GB of RAM or more Firefox 12 is going to be all around better.

ThaCrip said,

exactly. there is basically close to zero reason someone would actually WANT to use Firefox 3.6 over Firefox 12 as FF12 is just all around faster.


I'm still using version 3.6 for one very good reason -- Blackboard Vista, the most common platform for online schools, does not support higher versions of FF.

That's the biggest problem with these constant upgrades for FF -- companies can't certify that their tools work on the new versions, and it's already started to drive users away.

Fezmid said,
I'm still using version 3.6 for one very good reason -- Blackboard Vista, the most common platform for online schools, does not support higher versions of FF.

That's the biggest problem with these constant upgrades for FF -- companies can't certify that their tools work on the new versions, and it's already started to drive users away.

In all due respects but Blackboard as a platform royally sucks and the best way to avoid having issues if you run Windows is to use Internet Explorer with Blackboard and do everything else with Firefox. Quite honestly every time I see an education institution using Blackboard or Firstclass I really have to ask about the sanity of those who are making the decisions.

_Heracles said,
Why not? Firefox 12 is decent.

Because Firefox 4 (and consequently all newer versions) automatically move your toolbar items around to emulate IE9's horrendous layout.

Yes, they can be moved back.

No, normal users do not know this.

It's Mozilla's fault for thinking Microsoft was on to something.

It was Microsoft's fault for copying Chrome's minimalist mentality.

It was Google's fault for thinking any sane person is going to give all their files and stick them on a cloud when corporations can instantly ban you from all your personal files.

Queue the conspiracy theorists callers and fools who think no evil happens on planet Earth.

JAB Creations said,

Because Firefox 4 (and consequently all newer versions) automatically move your toolbar items around to emulate IE9's horrendous layout.

Yes, they can be moved back.

No, normal users do not know this.

It's Mozilla's fault for thinking Microsoft was on to something.

It was Microsoft's fault for copying Chrome's minimalist mentality.

It was Google's fault for thinking any sane person is going to give all their files and stick them on a cloud when corporations can instantly ban you from all your personal files.

Queue the conspiracy theorists callers and fools who think no evil happens on planet Earth.


Toolbars?