Mozilla has announced that it will be releasing an Extended Support Release build of Firefox. The decision has been made and Firefox 10 will be the first ESR. This release will be supported for a year, more or less, at which point a new ESR will be made available, Firefox 17.
There are still some minor details to work out, but, in essence, Firefox 10 ESR is intended for enterprises and organizations that want more control over the software they use. To be clear, ESR will be a separate build from the Firefox 10 that regular users get which will still only be supported for six weeks.
As such, it won't be advertised or featured on any of the regular Mozilla pages. Those that want it will have to look for it, but Mozilla will make binaries that are signed and branded available for those that need them. Source code will be available as well, of course.
"We are pleased to announce that the proposal for an Extended Support Release (ESR) of Firefox is now a plan of action. The ESR version of Firefox is for use by enterprises, public institutions, universities and other organizations that centrally manage their Firefox deployments," Mozilla announced
"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," it explained.
Firefox 3.6's EOL is 12 weeks away so Firefox 10 ESR will have to be ready by then. The release will undergo a qualification period during this time to ensure it is ready for enterprise use.
After it is released, Firefox 10 ESR will be supported with security updates for a year, until a next ESR will be made available.
The ESR ends a rather long saga
that started with Mozilla's decision to move to a rapid release cycle. This meant that new features and improvements would reach users faster and the benefits of it are felt already by most users.
But it also meant that enterprises could not use Firefox anymore since they would not be able to certify the software for use with their existing apps.