Mozilla has already announced plans to put in a silent update feature in future editions of its Firefox browser. Today, one of Firefox's programmers, Brian R. Bondy, has updated his blog with more information about how and when the new feature will be implemented.
First, Bondy says that a silent update is not the same as a background update for Firefox, stating that "background updates is a task that makes silent updates better, it is a component of the silent update project." When silent update is added, its users will be able to go into Firefox to choose one of three options. One is to automatically download and install updates; another is to check for updates but not to install them without prior permission; and the final option instructs Firefox not to check for any updates at all.
Bondy also said that the only things that Firefox will silently update will be direct upgrades to the browser. He added, "The updates cannot be tampered with; if they are, they will not be installed."
As to when this new feature will be put in, Bondy says that they will start appearing in the next version of the browser, Firefox 12, "but they will still be applied at startup. Meaning when there is an update, it will take slightly longer to startup." The ability for the browser to update itself silently in the background - while the browser is in use on other tasks, rather than at startup - won't appear until Firefox 13 or 14.