Firefox 4 browser won't have any more security updates

If you are still using the fourth version of Mozilla's Firefox web browser you might want to quickly update to the recently launched fifth version of Firefox right about now. Venture Beat reports that Mozilla won't be releasing any more security updates to Firefox 4 now that the next version of the web browser is now available. Part of the reason is that Mozilla decided to accelerate development of the Firefox browser and release major new versions of the software more quickly than in the past. That means older versions are being put out to virtual pasture. Indeed the last update for Firefox 4, 4.0.1, was released on April 28. It fixed a number of security issues.

One of the problems with using Firefox is that the browser doesn't automatically update to the new version. It does alert its users that a new update is available but it's up to the user to make the choice to download and install the latest update. This is in contrast to the approach of Google's Chrome browser which just goes ahead and updates to its latest version without needing any approval or action by the browser's user.

As Venture Beat points out, some people might still be using Firefox 4 because some of its third party add-ons or plug-ins are currently incompatible with the new Firefox 5 software. However, if  people wait to update Firefox 4 to the new version they run the risk that hackers might find and exploit holes in the now abandoned software.

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So really in this way of retarded thinking, Windows 7 Service pack 1 should have been "Windows 8" Service pack 2 should Version 9

warwagon said,
So really in this way of retarded thinking, Windows 7 Service pack 1 should have been "Windows 8" Service pack 2 should Version 9

I fail to see how this has any relevance.

warwagon said,
So really in this way of retarded thinking, Windows 7 Service pack 1 should have been "Windows 8" Service pack 2 should Version 9

Haven't people been saying that every time there's a new Windows release anyway?

"Oh Vista is just XP SP3"
"7 is just Vista SP3"

They copied google... x.1, x.2, x.3 are not big news for the world... new version, instead, is a big marketing deal. Maybe they will change some translation bug, but... hey! There's a major release folks!

fenderMarky said,
They copied google... x.1, x.2, x.3 are not big news for the world... new version, instead, is a big marketing deal. Maybe they will change some translation bug, but... hey! There's a major release folks!

Google doesn't give a flying **** about the version number, its not advertised on the site or in the browser

ViperAFK said,

Google doesn't give a flying **** about the version number, its not advertised on the site or in the browser

Google doesn't give the fcuk. Does it mean everyone should start copying this lame attitude? Version numbers, named major, minor, revision and build, respectively, exist for a reason. It's unwritten standard in 99% of the rest of software engineering. But, oh well, there are always some jackasses that want to make their own rules for some reason and yet say that the rest of society is ridiculous by adhering to a standard.

i guess they want to quickly pass the number 4 as this is considered a bad number in chinese because it sounds like death in chinese.

devHead said,
I'm on version 5 already. 4.0 is so...January 2011!

Firefox 7 (beta) is available. 5.0 is so.. June 21!!

accelerating major number bumpings doesn't mean accelerating development... firefox 5 is mainly bugfix for firefox 4 with 0 of major new functionality.

I hope mozilla release more than 1 update for firefox 5 otherwise it will never be stable as firefox 4.01 isn't stable and it has bad memory leaks, so does firefox 5. I want atleast 4 builds for firefox 5 that way it will be pretty stable by then and businesses could switch to it, otherwise businesses will be stuck on 3.6.18.

**** YOU MOZILLA.
Not even a YEAR'S SUPPORT!?

**** this, I'm jumping ship to a decent browser, the recent complete lack in security minded features of firefox and now this just makes me not give a **** for their ****-poor sham of a company anymore.

n_K said,
**** YOU MOZILLA.
Not even a YEAR'S SUPPORT!?

**** this, I'm jumping ship to a decent browser, the recent complete lack in security minded features of firefox and now this just makes me not give a **** for their ****-poor sham of a company anymore.

You're mad because of no updates to 4 but you refuse to update to 5. Do you see why that makes no sense? As someone said above just consider 5 as 4.1 because that's all it really is.

n_K said,
**** YOU MOZILLA.
Not even a YEAR'S SUPPORT!?

**** this, I'm jumping ship to a decent browser, the recent complete lack in security minded features of firefox and now this just makes me not give a **** for their ****-poor sham of a company anymore.


You are angry over nothing, just use the newest version... Why support 4 when they plan on releasing 6 and 7 in a relatively short time frame, and with the more timely releases there are less huge changes likely to break things, which makes staying on an old version pointless.

n_K said,
**** YOU MOZILLA.
Not even a YEAR'S SUPPORT!?

**** this, I'm jumping ship to a decent browser, the recent complete lack in security minded features of firefox and now this just makes me not give a **** for their ****-poor sham of a company anymore.

You're way too mad. Hate to see what would happen if someone stole your belongings if you get this mad over browser support.

I would have liked if they followed Chrome's update style. Automatically.
Or is there an option to automate it, that I don't know of?

of course Firefox versions numbers matter as long as the idiot in Mozilla who decided to insert version number in add-ons .xpi files remain in his job.

alexalex said,
of course Firefox versions numbers matter as long as the idiot in Mozilla who decided to insert version number in add-ons .xpi files remain in his job.
We as users (or Power Users) need those version numbers to know that we are running the latest (or any given version) of an addon. If there weren't version number it would be a mess.

ahhell said,
WTF? I'm still on 3.6.something.

Me too. Still waiting for all my addons to be compatible with FF4 - not much feckin' chance of that happening now, let alone have them all work with FF5.
Balls !!!

They really need to hurry up and finish the automatic background updating feature (if they're still working on it).

Meph said,
They really need to hurry up and finish the automatic background updating feature (if they're still working on it).

I hope they do not do this like chrome does.

Chrome requires a service to run and two process to run at all times for the update process even if your not using the browser at the time.

It is stupid and silly to waste system resources on a service for update when your not even using the web browser at the time.

swanlee said,

I hope they do not do this like chrome does.

Chrome requires a service to run and two process to run at all times for the update process even if your not using the browser at the time.

It is stupid and silly to waste system resources on a service for update when your not even using the web browser at the time.


Yeah cos your PC is really suffering from the Google service that doesn't even take up a megabyte.

testman said,
Yeah cos your PC is really suffering from the Google service that doesn't even take up a megabyte.

That's not really the point. There's a lot of various applications that like to install these inane updater services without even asking, one of the thing that guarantees an uninstall on my systems... starts to add up in resources and CPU time when there's a bunch of them going. (Of course, there is Chromium which doesn't have this 'feature'.)

Difference of opinion here. I like not having to update Chrome and my addons. I personally feel that addons should be just that; not something you have to manage due to an update.

The addons update automatically. The browser updates automatically. No extra dead weight packaged as a service required. As far as older addons go, I personally haven't run into one that hasn't run in version 6 yet, even some that haven't been updated in a couple years, although I'm sure there's some out there. Hardly Mozilla's fault there though.

swanlee said,

I hope they do not do this like chrome does.

Chrome requires a service to run and two process to run at all times for the update process even if your not using the browser at the time.

It is stupid and silly to waste system resources on a service for update when your not even using the web browser at the time.

It's really inefficient for your system to be doing nothing most of the time, so free cycles are actually bad, get out of the 80's when it comes to resource usage on a computer

z0phi3l said,

It's really inefficient for your system to be doing nothing most of the time, so free cycles are actually bad, get out of the 80's when it comes to resource usage on a computer

It was inefficient before power management. Get out of the 90's when it comes to resource usage on a computer.

Whats with all this idiocy about the version number? IT DOESN'T MATTER! Chrome doesn't even advertise its version number anywhere, firefox should really start doing the same as it just encourages these silly version number flamewars.

5 is a good update with some good performance improvements. Of course it has less features than previous updates because it was released faster. This model is good. less features per release, but these features get to the end user faster. And the channels are great for testers.

Firefox changed to this models because ridiculously long development times is not something users want. People were complaining about how stagnant firefox 3 became and they were right. Mozilla's new schedule is a good thing for end users, and the internet (New stuff like new new html5 features and such will get to the userbase faster, so sites can use these features sooner) With today's internet this type of development is becoming necessary.

I am so sick of all these comments going like LOL MOAR LIKE 4.011!!1
/rant

5 will be pushed as an automatic update so it doesn't even make sense for them to update 4 further.

ViperAFK said,
IT DOESN'T MATTER!
Why, of course it doesn't matter for us. Contrary to your statement, it doesn't matter for anyone. It's just a number that will not magically affect development times in any way - less time means less features; that's it. Issuing an update is more coherent and logical way, that's why version number has those 4 fields since the dawn of programming engineering. In past those numbers used to mean something, too.

ViperAFK said,
long development times is not something users want
Ok, this is weird. Bunch of users (here in comments and pretty much anywhere I see) are shouting againt this number game and you say something about what users want. Developer syndrome? Users want what they say they want not what developers think they want.

If anything, it breaks addon compatibility because guys have to actively edit install.rdf just to up the number because, of course, nothing else has changed - just the number. And it fcuking scuks.

cralias said,
Why, of course it doesn't matter for us. Contrary to your statement, it doesn't matter for anyone. It's just a number that will not magically affect development times in any way - less time means less features; that's it. Issuing an update is more coherent and logical way, that's why version number has those 4 fields since the dawn of programming engineering. In past those numbers used to mean something, too.

Ok, this is weird. Bunch of users (here in comments and pretty much anywhere I see) are shouting againt this number game and you say something about what users want. Developer syndrome? Users want what they say they want not what developers think they want.

If anything, it breaks addon compatibility because guys have to actively edit install.rdf just to up the number because, of course, nothing else has changed - just the number. And it fcuking scuks.


Only very inactive extensions will not be updated when a stable version comes out. They rarely actually break, they just need to update the version number.

And its not a 'number game'. The only people making it a number game are you guys.

And As I already addressed in my post. Yes, less time = less features, duh, but the new features that are they get to the end user faster, which is important.

ViperAFK said,

Only very inactive extensions will not be updated when a stable version comes out. They rarely actually break, they just need to update the version number.

Which isn't a help for people who actually use the extension as they have to wait till the extension is updated. Also, it's not really very inactive extensions that are not updated, there are plenty of extensions that are popular, used but get updates every so often (not virtually every day like some extensions coded by nutters, but not exactly inactive either).

testman said,

Which isn't a help for people who actually use the extension as they have to wait till the extension is updated. Also, it's not really very inactive extensions that are not updated, there are plenty of extensions that are popular, used but get updates every so often (not virtually every day like some extensions coded by nutters, but not exactly inactive either).

Firefox isn't responsible for third party extension developers not updating their extensions.

And the argument can be made the previous development model was even worse. When there are tons of changes at once there is a bigger chance of actually breaking extensions, and not just needing a version bump.

Arguments against this faster development model have no legs, at all. they amount to "zomg numbers are too big", or "zomg copying chrome"

As a user, I want to see more developments more quickly. No sense in waiting half a year and a ton of betas just to keep up. This is why I welcomed the new cycle, saying it's like we get to have our cake and eat it too!

Addons are a concern, but I think the process will get better as they continue. And big +1 to ViperAFK!

ViperAFK said,

Firefox changed to this models because ridiculously long development times is not something users want. People were complaining about how stagnant firefox 3 became and they were right. Mozilla's new schedule is a good thing for end users, and the internet (New stuff like new new html5 features and such will get to the userbase faster, so sites can use these features sooner) With today's internet this type of development is becoming necessary.

I am so sick of all these comments going like LOL MOAR LIKE 4.011!!1
/rant

Bull ****. All this does is make people think they were more productive than what they really were. They did not bust their ass and release an old fashion major release. All they did was release a 4.x bug fix release, slapped the number 5 on it and made themselves look really good in a short amount of time.

.Neo said,
Because? Is there a real good reason why people can't upgrade to Firefox 5?

Yes, in company settings, you need to test internal code with new software. You need to make sure it works properly with your network, and (since there is relatively nothing new in FF5, this is not as much of an issue) you need to retrain people to work with the software.

I know someone at a company that just 2 weeks agofinished evaluation of FF4 for his network - and has been working on it for the 3 months since 4 was released. Now they need to start over from the beginning.

Real IT people make sure software works, not just throw whatever is available on the computer and pray that it does not screw up the system. FF is risking losing people over this.

nohone said,
I know someone at a company that just 2 weeks agofinished evaluation of FF4 for his network - and has been working on it for the 3 months since 4 was released. Now they need to start over from the beginning.
He is perpetually screwed. Mozilla plans to release a new major version every 6 weeks. Either they need to change their policy or security WILL be an issue.

nohone said,

Yes, in company settings, you need to test internal code with new software. You need to make sure it works properly with your network, and (since there is relatively nothing new in FF5, this is not as much of an issue) you need to retrain people to work with the software.

I know someone at a company that just 2 weeks agofinished evaluation of FF4 for his network - and has been working on it for the 3 months since 4 was released. Now they need to start over from the beginning.

Real IT people make sure software works, not just throw whatever is available on the computer and pray that it does not screw up the system. FF is risking losing people over this.


That's just a bad excuse for IT to not do their jobs, been there done that, proved them wrong many times. Unless they are still running some really bad code from the early 90's or the 80's it will be fine

ScottDaMan said,
He is perpetually screwed. Mozilla plans to release a new major version every 6 weeks. Either they need to change their policy or security WILL be an issue.

then can't wait for FireFox 10 in dec

z0phi3l said,


That's just a bad excuse for IT to not do their jobs, been there done that, proved them wrong many times. Unless they are still running some really bad code from the early 90's or the 80's it will be fine


oh yea
being IT should be more flexible , or just retire if you can't keep up

Why did they decide to change the number all the way to 5.0? This only needlessly breaks compatibility with extensions...

Kuraj said,
Why did they decide to change the number all the way to 5.0? This only needlessly breaks compatibility with extensions...

Marketing. They're trying to catch up with Chrome and it's ridiculous version scheme.

Skyfrog said,

Marketing. They're trying to catch up with Chrome and it's ridiculous version scheme.

You mean catch up with Chrome 12, oh I mean, 13, 14... 15... you can't even type a post without a "new" version of Chrome coming out

Since that new, "accelerated" roadmap which resulted in releasing useless version 5 just to up the number, a la Chrome, and now cutting updates so soon Mozilla guys are shooting themselves in the foot. And it's sad.

warwagon said,
Just installed it. 5.0? LOL That's Hilarious!! More like 4.1

Mozilla stop drinking the Google cool-aid!

That's how it has to happen though. Google's ever increasing version number makes it look like it's advancing quicker than Firefox, and it would make it look like Firefox was falling behind, therefore increasing the version number more quickly makes them appear to be more competitive.

warwagon said,
Just installed it. 5.0? LOL That's Hilarious!! More like 4.1

Mozilla stop drinking the Google cool-aid!

what to do with the rest being v9+ now

except for safari that noone care about *whistle*

Majesticmerc said,

That's how it has to happen though. Google's ever increasing version number makes it look like it's advancing quicker than Firefox, and it would make it look like Firefox was falling behind, therefore increasing the version number more quickly makes them appear to be more competitive.

No it doesn't. Chrome is already on 14, and Firefox was (until this release) on 4. Chrome users, unless they're nerds, probably don't have the foggiest idea what version they're using, it's not important.

Two completely different philosophies:

1) Mozilla sets out a list of stuff it wants to complete by version number X, along with a projected date. That date inevitably comes and passes with much work left to do, so they end up either delaying the release, leaving out functionality, or both.

2) Google sets out a list of dates when it wants to release versions X, Y and Z, but is much more vague about what functionality will be included. Instead, it focuses on the release date (in this case every three months) and releases a new version on that date. If it has to cut functionality out, so be it - it'll be in the next version, which is only three months away - and the users weren't particularly expecting it anyway, so nobody is disappointed.

Mozilla, after years of Firefox going very slowly, have decided to adopt Google's approach. The problem they have now is that they have long focused on major version numbers, so getting people out of that mindset and accepting that we'll be on Firefox 7 by the end of the year is going to be a challenge.

EDIT: The point is, Chrome's version number is irrelevant in the context of version numbers like we get with Firefox, Microsoft Office, etc. It's just another regular release, not the culmination of years of planning.

Default behavior for Firefox is to download and install updates automatically. This can be viewed/changed in Options -> Advanced -> Update.

Previously, this only applied to "minor" updates --- major updates would display an update window and give you the choice to install. With the shift to the new rapid development model, all updates will be pushed automatically, since previous versions will not receive security updates (like this article mentions). They may not have pushed Firefox 5 to auto update yet, give them a few days. You can bet that if there was a security issue seeing widespread exploitation, the update would be pushed to auto right away.

zikalify said,
you should have been there yesterday

I've been with 5 on my laptop since saturday. But I always forgot to upgrade my desktop because 5 doesn't feel important. I forgot I was using 5 and I still feel like i'm using 4.x

warwagon said,

I've been with 5 on my laptop since saturday. But I always forgot to upgrade my desktop because 5 doesn't feel important. I forgot I was using 5 and I still feel like i'm using 4.x


So pretty much ff5 isn't any jacksh!t different then i suppose...thanks moz!

Neobond said,
Not sure what to make of this tbh

I see no problem. Just ignore the retarded 5.0 version number and think of it as 4.1. Now do you have a problem?

warwagon said,
I see no problem. Just ignore the retarded 5.0 version number and think of it as 4.0.2. Now do you have a problem?

There, fixed it for you.

What's the problem here exactly? I don't see any reason why Mozilla should continue supporting Firefox 4 and no reason why people can't upgrade to Firefox 5.

Neobond said,
Not sure what to make of this tbh
Whats up with it moving to 5? Ever had lots of tabs and you start closing them from say the third tab in and you have to keep moving the mouse to the cross on the next tab, well no more do you have to, try it. I think that is enough for a whole upgrade tbh its amazing!

.Neo said,
What's the problem here exactly? I don't see any reason why Mozilla should continue supporting Firefox 4 and no reason why people can't upgrade to Firefox 5.

Plugins compatibility.

Examinus said,
Plugins compatibility.

Disable compatibility checking. Chances are if it worked in v4, it'll work in v5+ too. So far out of the addons I've been using since v3, only one required a minor tweak to get going, currently running in Aurora v6.

warwagon said,

I see no problem. Just ignore the retarded 5.0 version number and think of it as 4.1. Now do you have a problem?

Umm, yeah. Our enterprise desktop management browser plug-in doesn't work...

Aethec said,

There, fixed it for you.

4.0.2 would indicate noting more than a minor security update, 5 is definitely more than that.

most of the comments on this page are ridiculous.

Jen Smith said,

Disable compatibility checking. Chances are if it worked in v4, it'll work in v5+ too. So far out of the addons I've been using since v3, only one required a minor tweak to get going, currently running in Aurora v6.

They should turn off addon compatibility checking by default now that they're releasing so often. I don't want all my plugins turning themselves off every time a Firefox update is released.

Majesticmerc said,

They should turn off addon compatibility checking by default now that they're releasing so often. I don't want all my plugins turning themselves off every time a Firefox update is released.

they are working to change it but not outright disable it

so it should disable those plugins that depand upon certain binary stuff
that would otherwise would break the browser itself

Majesticmerc said,

They should turn off addon compatibility checking by default now that they're releasing so often. I don't want all my plugins turning themselves off every time a Firefox update is released.

All extensions hosted on the Mozilla site were automatically marked as compatible with 5.0 unless they wouldn't work (i.e. they depended on changed APIs or used versioned binary components), which means that the extensions marked as incompatible simply just won't work (Even if you force it).

Plugins (like Flash) will work regardless of the browser version, since the API used isn't designed like that.

.Neo said,
What's the problem here exactly? I don't see any reason why Mozilla should continue supporting Firefox 4 and no reason why people can't upgrade to Firefox 5.

Plugins that will not work with FF5, despite telling FF to ignore versions.

I'm already on Firefox 5, but my point is those people who will think "I don't need to upgrade" more security issues down the road. At least Chrome forces it, and Windows Update automatically updates your IE too. (and doesn't abandon previous versions a couple of months after they're released).