Mozilla to release less-updated Firefox for enterprises

Mozilla announced Tuesday that its proposal for an Extended Support Release (ESR) of Firefox, which was initially proposed after negative corporate feedback of its new rapid-release development cycle, is now a plan of action. According to the blog post announcement, the ESR version is designed for use by enterprises, public institutions, universities and other organizations that centrally manage their own Firefox deployments.

Releases of the ESR version will occur only once a year, unlike the standard version of the browser, which now updates every six weeks. The faster pace of the standard release cycle was met negatively last year by businesses and other organizations who need to test their software and custom add-ons, which could be broken easily in new versions of the browser. With two separate versions of Firefox, Mozilla can now focus on staying competitive with Chrome and Internet Explorer through frequent updates in the standard version, while also providing the stability that corporations demand in the Extended Support Release.

"Releases of the ESR will occur once a year, providing these organizations with a version of Firefox that receives security updates but does not make changes to the Web or Firefox add-ons platform," wrote Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's vice president of products, in the blog post announcement. "We have worked with many organizations to ensure that the ESR balances their need for the latest security updates with the desire to have a lighter application certification burden."

Details of the plan can be found on Mozilla's wiki. So far, no date or timeline for ESR's introduction is known, though the blog post noted that implementation specifics would be posted within the week.

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19 Comments

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They need a lot more to approach corporations:
Support GPO
MSI installer with silent option

Also worth to mention that after so many years, companies are still to move away from IE6 as: "Newer versions of IE haven't been tested for compatibility". Not sure if FireFox will change this bad excuse.

still1 said,
Firefox release cycle is more of a joke now.

No it isn't. same with chrome as well. you want talk about a joke look at safari release schedule now that's a damn joke.

We use Firefox for web development and so far haven't encountered a single case where updating to a newer version has broken any of our sites or services. All that breaks is addon compatibility checking, which is done in a stupid way in Firefox anyway.

LaXu said,
We use Firefox for web development and so far haven't encountered a single case where updating to a newer version has broken any of our sites or services. All that breaks is addon compatibility checking, which is done in a stupid way in Firefox anyway.

I will give you a good example; SharePoint 2010 added support for Firefox 3.6. After a few days Firefox 4.0 gets released and everything is broken. SharePoint 2010 does about 1.6 billion USD in licensing a year.

Riva said,

I will give you a good example; SharePoint 2010 added support for Firefox 3.6. "After a few days" Firefox 4.0 gets released and everything is broken. SharePoint 2010 does about 1.6 billion USD in licensing a year.

Oh bwoy those were hell lot of days!!

Nooo!
Don't encourage them!
Enterprise IT should get of their damn asses and do their work! I'm getting this felling they are just sitting somewhere doing nothing unless there is a problem, time that could be spent on making sure stuff will work when an update comes around rather than using near decade old solutions.

Leonick said,
Nooo!
Don't encourage them!
Enterprise IT should get of their damn asses and do their work! I'm getting this felling they are just sitting somewhere doing nothing unless there is a problem, time that could be spent on making sure stuff will work when an update comes around rather than using near decade old solutions.

You really no clue about which problems the IT is facing inside an large scaled enterprise to write such a comment.

Leonick said,
Nooo!
Don't encourage them!
Enterprise IT should get of their damn asses and do their work! I'm getting this felling they are just sitting somewhere doing nothing unless there is a problem, time that could be spent on making sure stuff will work when an update comes around rather than using near decade old solutions.

Lol, clueless comment of the week award, and it's only Wednesday!

Why not just do this for everyone?

I got the update prompt for Firefox 9 the other day, only to be told that upgrading would break the Kaspersky addons, amongst other things. I then promptly declined as I can't think of any compelling reason to upgrade.

Blargh.

Well the security and speed improvements present in most Firefox releases should compel us to upgrade as home users, however for corporate use, comprehensive compatibility testing is often necessary (and in the case of external web based systems, vendor support) so a fast release cycle is not supportable.

The only thing that Firefox needs with regards to it's upgrade schedule is a silent update process. If they did that, we'd get all the benefits of added speed and support for the latest web standards, and we'd never even know

Majesticmerc said,
The only thing that Firefox needs with regards to it's upgrade schedule is a silent update process. If they did that, we'd get all the benefits of added speed and support for the latest web standards, and we'd never even know

That's the thing I like about Chrome... the only reason I know it updated from 15 to 16 was because Secuina PSI came up and said "Chrome 16 - patched". None of my addins break. Sometimes they disappear because they require more permissions... that's fine (but I would prefer if it were slightly more vocal about this however it probably has changed since I last had a plugin disabled for this reason).

The only reason I use Firefox as well as Chrome is because I have two Tumblr accounts, and Tumblr doesn't play nice at all in IE9 (perish the thought that we test our website in a browser that's been around for over a year in some form or another), Opera doesn't have the addins I have grown accustomed to, and Safari is made by Apple and is therefore Verboten.

Douglas_C said,
Why not just do this for everyone?

I got the update prompt for Firefox 9 the other day, only to be told that upgrading would break the Kaspersky addons, amongst other things. I then promptly declined as I can't think of any compelling reason to upgrade.

Blargh.

From Firefox 10 Onwards (in beta right now) your addons will be automatically made compatible (mostly) which would solve this problem of yours

bogas04 said,

From Firefox 10 Onwards (in beta right now) your addons will be automatically made compatible (mostly) which would solve this problem of yours


Well, that's about time. They've been talking about that feature for years... I hope they get that out and it works as described as soon as possible...

Majesticmerc said,
Well the security and speed improvements present in most Firefox releases should compel us to upgrade as home users, however for corporate use, comprehensive compatibility testing is often necessary (and in the case of external web based systems, vendor support) so a fast release cycle is not supportable.

The only thing that Firefox needs with regards to it's upgrade schedule is a silent update process. If they did that, we'd get all the benefits of added speed and support for the latest web standards, and we'd never even know

silent updates are coming and they are making it so addons dont need updating per version

cork1958 said,
Taking lessons from Microsoft, I see!!

"Taking lessons from Ubuntu" would more closely fit.