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Mozilla Proposes Firefox ESR Versions for Businesses

By - Source: Firefox | B 23 comments

Mozilla has posted its first idea how make Firefox much more acceptable for businesses as a rapid release cycle release.

Instead of supporting a particular browser version for just six weeks, an "extended support release" (ESR) would be supported for a total of seven Firefox release cycles, or 42 weeks.

Mozilla would still be updating an ESR version every time a new Firefox is released, but would only apply security patches, according to a proposal. If Mozilla starts this idea with Firefox 8, then ESR versions would be called 8.0 ESR, 8.0.1 ESR, 8,0.2 ESR until 8.0.6 ESR with release dates that coincide with Firefox 9 - 14. Mozilla also said that business that choose the ESR version will have 12 weeks to qualify a new Firefox ESR version once it becomes available. The current proposal suggests that Firefox 8 ESR will be introduced on January 1, 2012 while the will not have to switch to the successor Firefox 13.0.1 ESR (including two qualifying cycles) until August 28, 2012.

Mozilla is currently asking for feedback on the proposal, but said that it is planning on launching the ESR versions with Firefox 8 or 9.

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  • 12 Hide
    phatboe , September 23, 2011 3:27 PM
    How about Mozilla go back to the old system. No one had a problem with that and everything worked beautifully.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    house70 , September 23, 2011 2:40 PM
    This is where they lost it. They need to keep it simple; instead, they choose to complicate things. How about they focus on extensions compatibility? I have at least a few that are not compatible with current version(s). And software devs have a hard time keeping up with the updates, if it breaks their product compatibility.
  • -1 Hide
    cookies , September 23, 2011 2:41 PM
    Alright. 1/1/2012 to 8/28/2012 is 42 weeks. Years just keep getting longer.
  • 2 Hide
    fractalsphere , September 23, 2011 3:24 PM
    If they had corporate support, like an MSI, or hooks to plug in functionality to Windows Group Policy it would make it a much more viable corporate alternate browser.
  • 12 Hide
    phatboe , September 23, 2011 3:27 PM
    How about Mozilla go back to the old system. No one had a problem with that and everything worked beautifully.
  • 2 Hide
    dickcheney , September 23, 2011 3:33 PM
    Fire Asa Dotzler now!
  • 3 Hide
    techtate , September 23, 2011 4:50 PM
    Mozilla is being ridiculous with their rapid release idea. As an IT manager their recent choices have made it impossible for me to support current Firefox versions as our standard browser. I'm glad they are at least coming part way with this move, but still, only supporting something for 42 weeks is... stupid, unless there is complete backwards compatibility with plugins.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , September 23, 2011 7:00 PM
    house70This is where they lost it. They need to keep it simple; instead, they choose to complicate things. How about they focus on extensions compatibility? I have at least a few that are not compatible with current version(s). And software devs have a hard time keeping up with the updates, if it breaks their product compatibility.


    i am on 8 right now, there were only a few extensions that didn't work, and thats because support was dropped around ff3.5

    the only extension that flat out failed to work was down them all, and a alpha version of tab mix + that was a pre release for 3.5, otherwise everything else if just fine.

    basically if an extension works in 4, it works in 8. you just have to turn version compatibility off.

    phatboeHow about Mozilla go back to the old system. No one had a problem with that and everything worked beautifully.


    take a look at version 6-8 and tell me the old model was working fine? tell me in a post chrome internent, that casual consumers don't want the best right now?

    techtateMozilla is being ridiculous with their rapid release idea. As an IT manager their recent choices have made it impossible for me to support current Firefox versions as our standard browser. I'm glad they are at least coming part way with this move, but still, only supporting something for 42 weeks is... stupid, unless there is complete backwards compatibility with plugins.



    what plugins do you use? in a business sense, that don't work?
  • 0 Hide
    daft , September 24, 2011 1:55 AM
    otacon72FF still hasn't figured out how to stop it from crashing with Flash. Also the fact it sucks up almost a gig of RAM with only a few tabs open...they can keep it.

    you are either a troll, or have something wrong with your FF settings. as i speak, i have a youtube video going (1080p of course) along with about 8 other tabs including this one. and im only getting about 275MB usage out of it.
  • 0 Hide
    BWMerlin , September 24, 2011 2:03 AM
    fractalsphereIf they had corporate support, like an MSI, or hooks to plug in functionality to Windows Group Policy it would make it a much more viable corporate alternate browser.


    This is all they need, give us MSIs and GPO and we can deploy firefox how we want, when we want. There has been a ticket about creating MSIs for firefox and thunderbird open for years and still nothing instead we get a crappy 6 week release cycle with minimal new features and still no major that would actually help corporate users use firefox in business.
  • 1 Hide
    iamtheking123 , September 24, 2011 3:58 AM
    Mozilla can release as fast as they want with whatever features they want:

    JUST DON'T BREAK MY ADDONS.

    Take all the components and code that tie in with addons and don't touch it. All the "improvements" can be 4.X and anything that WILL break addons can be 5.0.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 24, 2011 4:43 AM
    So, its the model Ubuntu LTS takes. But frankly something tells me businesses won't have trouble simply switching back to IE9.
  • 2 Hide
    w0qj , September 24, 2011 7:08 AM
    From a former FireFox user who now regularly uses Chrome browser 8+ hours each day: FireFox developers are losing touch its customers, both consumer and corporate. And this is coming from a former user who had been around since FireFox Beta v0.7

    From my consumer browser user point of view:

    1) Frequent FireFox updates = Little or no Addon use.
    I've almost completely stopped using Addons long ago, with each new (frequent) FireFox update breaking a number of Addons, it's a huge chore just to keep my collection of formerly useful Addons compatible with each and every FireFox updates.

    Since I've stopped using Addons for the most part, I've switched to Chrome instead.

    1a) Improvements: Attempting to install Offline *.XPI addon files onto newer (incompatable) FireFox, FireFox should be smart enough to point user to the Addon's home page to download newest version (and hope that it's compatible!).

    1b) I still have one Addon that I'm still using, and Addon still breaks frequent, to the point that I've had to save both the *.XPI addon file, and the current FireFox build so that I can ensure my addon works when I need it to!!!!!! This is how bad things have become, users are always wondering if their addon will work with the next FireFox update...
    Pity the Addon developer...


    2) I switched to Chrome because of this bug that has been around for a looooonnnng time: "When I open link in new Tab, switch to it immediately." This option box is broken, I'm surprised this bug had not been fixed yet despite so many "frequent updates"!


    3) FireFox developers are losing touch with its users, implementing things that are not intuitive for newer users--meaning that this would not help entice new users to use FireFox:

    3a) Example: [F11] full screen mode, one would expect hitting [Escape] would abort this full screen mode. NO, you *must* press [F11] !
    What if user had hit [F11] by accident, he would not know how to revert back to normal FireFox mode!

    3b) My latest pet peeve with FireFox, why did FF developers leave out [F4] or [F6] hotkey for quick focusing onto URL address bar (for much faster typing in URL for faster navigation)??? Now you must use the mouse??? Internet Explorer can use both [F4] and [F6] for this function. Chrome uses [F6] for this function. FireFox does not do this at all now (hotkey shortcut removed)???


    4. Don't get me wrong, I'm a former FireFox who would love to get back into using FireFox. But above detailed reasons and detailed suggestions demonstrate why I'm *forced* by FireFox developers to switched to other browsers.

    ******Hope FireFox developers are listening!
  • 2 Hide
    cookoy , September 24, 2011 7:32 AM
    so versions 8 - 8.06 basically cover the same time frame as 8 - 14, but updates are only security patches and no new features. and when v9 is out and some companies want to use its ESR release you'd have 9 - 9.05 when v14 is out. and so on, 10 - 10.04, 11 - 11.03, 12 - 12.02, 13 - 13.01 and finally 14. that's 28 versions mozilla will be maintaining. stupid waste of resources!
  • 1 Hide
    iamtheking123 , September 24, 2011 11:11 AM
    @w0qj...sounds like you just have a broken FF installation. You say that F6 doesn't work in FF....well...it does.

    I'm tired of dumb users bitching about FF. "Oh it's a memory hog" "oh it crashes" "oh XXXX doesn't work". Do a clean install, stop downloading porn and virusing your computer, and it works fine.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , September 24, 2011 7:16 PM
    w0qjFrom a former FireFox user who now regularly uses Chrome browser 8+ hours each day: FireFox developers are losing touch its customers, both consumer and corporate. And this is coming from a former user who had been around since FireFox Beta v0.7From my consumer browser user point of view:1) Frequent FireFox updates = Little or no Addon use.I've almost completely stopped using Addons long ago, with each new (frequent) FireFox update breaking a number of Addons, it's a huge chore just to keep my collection of formerly useful Addons compatible with each and every FireFox updates.Since I've stopped using Addons for the most part, I've switched to Chrome instead.1a) Improvements: Attempting to install Offline *.XPI addon files onto newer (incompatable) FireFox, FireFox should be smart enough to point user to the Addon's home page to download newest version (and hope that it's compatible!).1b) I still have one Addon that I'm still using, and Addon still breaks frequent, to the point that I've had to save both the *.XPI addon file, and the current FireFox build so that I can ensure my addon works when I need it to!!!!!! This is how bad things have become, users are always wondering if their addon will work with the next FireFox update...Pity the Addon developer...2) I switched to Chrome because of this bug that has been around for a looooonnnng time: "When I open link in new Tab, switch to it immediately." This option box is broken, I'm surprised this bug had not been fixed yet despite so many "frequent updates"!3) FireFox developers are losing touch with its users, implementing things that are not intuitive for newer users--meaning that this would not help entice new users to use FireFox:3a) Example: [F11] full screen mode, one would expect hitting [Escape] would abort this full screen mode. NO, you *must* press [F11] !What if user had hit [F11] by accident, he would not know how to revert back to normal FireFox mode!3b) My latest pet peeve with FireFox, why did FF developers leave out [F4] or [F6] hotkey for quick focusing onto URL address bar (for much faster typing in URL for faster navigation)??? Now you must use the mouse??? Internet Explorer can use both [F4] and [F6] for this function. Chrome uses [F6] for this function. FireFox does not do this at all now (hotkey shortcut removed)???4. Don't get me wrong, I'm a former FireFox who would love to get back into using FireFox. But above detailed reasons and detailed suggestions demonstrate why I'm *forced* by FireFox developers to switched to other browsers.******Hope FireFox developers are listening!


    1) enable mod uses without version check, almost everything passed 4 runs flawlessly.
    1a) thats a download at your own risk deal... and on the addon page for it, or in the addon itself it directs you to the home page.
    1b) than don't upgrade right away, and if you need to, look for an alternative... if an addon isn't supported for 2 build of firefox, presume its dead.
    2) is it realy that hard to get something like firegestrures? map switching tabs to right click left and right? now im speaking from someone who loads a crap ton of tabs, and opens new links mid articles, such as on wikipida. i don't want to go to a new tab every time i open a new one. also, tab mix +, everyone else uses it, may fix your problem.
    3) i know no one who uses fullscreen, so lets leave that out. now with the f keys, that must have been a bug in beta 7, because beta 8, what i'm using now, f6 is the key... also still need to press 11 again. i'm assuming this is for a compatibility reason with a html5 possible function.
    4) you werent forced, you based your hate off of a beta build than picked up chrome. you want to make sure your addons work without forceing them to work despite version... dont upgrade till your extentions are up to date.

    you want f4 f6 or escape to close out of full screen, look into grease monkey and stylish. one of those should instill the functionality you want.

    cookoyso versions 8 - 8.06 basically cover the same time frame as 8 - 14, but updates are only security patches and no new features. and when v9 is out and some companies want to use its ESR release you'd have 9 - 9.05 when v14 is out. and so on, 10 - 10.04, 11 - 11.03, 12 - 12.02, 13 - 13.01 and finally 14. that's 28 versions mozilla will be maintaining. stupid waste of resources!


    um i think your math is VERY wrong...
  • -1 Hide
    caveman22 , September 24, 2011 8:04 PM
    otacon72FF still hasn't figured out how to stop it from crashing with Flash. Also the fact it sucks up almost a gig of RAM with only a few tabs open...they can keep it.


    Funny, because I have 25 tabs open, 2 of which are youtube, with 14 addons, and it's been open for several hours and still only using just over 500k.
  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , September 25, 2011 1:56 AM
    w0qjFrom a former FireFox user who now regularly uses Chrome browser 8+ hours each day: FireFox developers are losing touch its customers, both consumer and corporate. And this is coming from a former user who had been around since FireFox Beta v0.7From my consumer browser user point of view:1) Frequent FireFox updates = Little or no Addon use.I've almost completely stopped using Addons long ago, with each new (frequent) FireFox update breaking a number of Addons, it's a huge chore just to keep my collection of formerly useful Addons compatible with each and every FireFox updates.Since I've stopped using Addons for the most part, I've switched to Chrome instead.
    1a) Improvements: Attempting to install Offline *.XPI addon files onto newer (incompatable) FireFox, FireFox should be smart enough to point user to the Addon's home page to download newest version (and hope that it's compatible!).

    1b) I still have one Addon that I'm still using, and Addon still breaks frequent, to the point that I've had to save both the *.XPI addon file, and the current FireFox build so that I can ensure my addon works when I need it to!!!!!!

    This is how bad things have become, users are always wondering if their addon will work with the next FireFox update...Pity the Addon developer...

    2) I switched to Chrome because of this bug that has been around for a looooonnnng time: "When I open link in new Tab, switch to it immediately." This option box is broken, I'm surprised this bug had not been fixed yet despite so many "frequent updates"!

    3) FireFox developers are losing touch with its users, implementing things that are not intuitive for newer users--meaning that this would not help entice new users to use FireFox:

    3a) Example: [F11] full screen mode, one would expect hitting [Escape] would abort this full screen mode. NO, you *must* press [F11] !What if user had hit [F11] by accident, he would not know how to revert back to normal FireFox mode!

    3b) My latest pet peeve with FireFox, why did FF developers leave out [F4] or [F6] hotkey for quick focusing onto URL address bar (for much faster typing in URL for faster navigation)??? Now you must use the mouse???

    Internet Explorer can use both [F4] and [F6] for this function. Chrome uses [F6] for this function. FireFox does not do this at all now (hotkey shortcut removed)???

    4. Don't get me wrong, I'm a former FireFox who would love to get back into using FireFox. But above detailed reasons and detailed suggestions demonstrate why I'm *forced* by FireFox developers to switched to other browsers.

    ******Hope FireFox developers are listening!

    Ok, let's see

    1) More likely then not the Addons still work, Firefox does disable any Addon that is not set to be run in Firefox *new version*, that does not mean it does not work, it's a fail safe. If the dev does not set their Addon for new version compatability (some are set to be compatible through many versions tested or not to get around this) then they get disabled until Firefox knows it will work.

    2) I just texted that setting and guess what? It worked perfectly, it's not broken at all.

    3) I decided to do a little test, I opened Chrome, IE9 and Firefox, hit F11 on each in turn then hit ESC, guess what happened? Nothing, they all required hitting F11 to turn off full screen, as far as I know this has been the case since browsers had fullscreen added (MANY MANY years now).

    4) Seems to me you are complaining for the sake of complaining since the only semi valid reason is the Addon thing and while annoying it is to avoid crashes and problems in case an Addon does become a problem with an update.
  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , September 25, 2011 1:57 AM
    w0qjFrom a former FireFox user who now regularly uses Chrome browser 8+ hours each day: FireFox developers are losing touch its customers, both consumer and corporate. And this is coming from a former user who had been around since FireFox Beta v0.7From my consumer browser user point of view:1) Frequent FireFox updates = Little or no Addon use.I've almost completely stopped using Addons long ago, with each new (frequent) FireFox update breaking a number of Addons, it's a huge chore just to keep my collection of formerly useful Addons compatible with each and every FireFox updates.Since I've stopped using Addons for the most part, I've switched to Chrome instead.
    1a) Improvements: Attempting to install Offline *.XPI addon files onto newer (incompatable) FireFox, FireFox should be smart enough to point user to the Addon's home page to download newest version (and hope that it's compatible!).

    1b) I still have one Addon that I'm still using, and Addon still breaks frequent, to the point that I've had to save both the *.XPI addon file, and the current FireFox build so that I can ensure my addon works when I need it to!!!!!!

    This is how bad things have become, users are always wondering if their addon will work with the next FireFox update...Pity the Addon developer...

    2) I switched to Chrome because of this bug that has been around for a looooonnnng time: "When I open link in new Tab, switch to it immediately." This option box is broken, I'm surprised this bug had not been fixed yet despite so many "frequent updates"!

    3) FireFox developers are losing touch with its users, implementing things that are not intuitive for newer users--meaning that this would not help entice new users to use FireFox:

    3a) Example: [F11] full screen mode, one would expect hitting [Escape] would abort this full screen mode. NO, you *must* press [F11] !What if user had hit [F11] by accident, he would not know how to revert back to normal FireFox mode!

    3b) My latest pet peeve with FireFox, why did FF developers leave out [F4] or [F6] hotkey for quick focusing onto URL address bar (for much faster typing in URL for faster navigation)??? Now you must use the mouse???

    Internet Explorer can use both [F4] and [F6] for this function. Chrome uses [F6] for this function. FireFox does not do this at all now (hotkey shortcut removed)???

    4. Don't get me wrong, I'm a former FireFox who would love to get back into using FireFox. But above detailed reasons and detailed suggestions demonstrate why I'm *forced* by FireFox developers to switched to other browsers.

    ******Hope FireFox developers are listening!


    Ok, let's see

    1) More likely then not the Addons still work, Firefox does disable any Addon that is not set to be run in Firefox *new version*, that does not mean it does not work, it's a fail safe. If the dev does not set their Addon for new version compatability (some are set to be compatible through many versions tested or not to get around this) then they get disabled until Firefox knows it will work.

    2) I just texted that setting and guess what? It worked perfectly, it's not broken at all.

    3) I decided to do a little test, I opened Chrome, IE9 and Firefox, hit F11 on each in turn then hit ESC, guess what happened? Nothing, they all required hitting F11 to turn off full screen, as far as I know this has been the case since browsers had fullscreen added (MANY MANY years now).

    4) Seems to me you are complaining for the sake of complaining since the only semi valid reason is the Addon thing and while annoying it is to avoid crashes and problems in case an Addon does become a problem with an update.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2011 8:41 PM
    The day that chrome or chromium uses or allows sessions with the features and ease of Firefox, I might switch. Without sessions, and the organization it allows, chrome/chromium is USELESS, for my purposes.
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , September 26, 2011 6:24 AM
    The thing I really hate about Firefix is that Solaris 10 / BEAWLS is forced to use it for J2EE stuff. Funny thing is you can actually do more "enterprise" type stuff with FF inside Solaris then you can with Windows, including scripting how out all the settings will be and so forth.

    I really wish they'd make a good Opera build for sparcv9 Solaris 10, make my job easier.
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