Firefox 6 and 7 Due by end of 2011

Dennis Faas's picture

Mozilla last week launched the new Firefox version 5 web browser, but with it comes the news that Firefox 4 will be retired.

The move to release Firefox 5 only a few months after version 4 (released in March this year) is a surprise to many users. The plan is to keep the open-source web browser current with new technologies; this follows with the 'rapid-release' business model, similarly used by Google Chrome and Apple. (Source:

Firefox 5 is the first release as part of Mozilla's new rapid release plan. (Source:

Slow And Steady Versus Rapid Release

While rapid releases are usually seen as good news for the general public, the changes don't typically bode well with corporate users.

John Walicki, manager of workplace and mobility in the office of IBM's CIO, voiced his displeasure with the decision to retire Firefox 4 from security support, likening the move to "a kick in the stomach."

Walicki has good reason to be upset.

About a year ago, IBM set Mozilla Firefox as their default on all new PCs assigned to workers. Walicki must now decide whether to deploy a Firefox 4 release (with potentially unpatched vulnerabilities), reset the test cycle for thousands of internal apps to validate Firefox 5, or remain on a patched version of Firefox 3.6.

"Enterprise has never (and I'll argue, shouldn't be) a focus of ours," said Asa Dotzler, director of Firefox.

He later added, "A minute spent making a corporate user happy can be better spent making regular users happy. I'd much rather Mozilla spend its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don't have enterprise support systems already taking care of them." (Source:

Microsoft Reaffirms Support for Corporate Customers

Microsoft on the other hand has wasted little time reaffirming their commitment to, and support for, their corporate customers.

In a post on his personal blog, Ari Bixhorn, director of Internet Explorer, reminded the corporate world that "enterprises have always been, and will always be, an important focus of ours." Bixhorn went on to say that Microsoft would continue to support Internet Explorer 9 (which launched about a week before Firefox 4) through January 2020.

Mozilla Firefox versions 6 and 7 are said to be released before the end of the year. (Source:

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