Mozilla is on a mission. No less than three more Firefox releases will be launched by the end of 2011. Another four will follow in the first half of next year. By mid-2012 Mozilla users will be able to download and run Firefox 13 Final.
Earlier this month, Firefox 6 was made available for download, and early adopters got Firefox 7 Beta, Firefox 8 Aurora, and Firefox 9 Nightly for testing.
Mozilla overhauled its development process and the release cycle of the open source browser after Firefox 4.0 shipped, and the company intends to stick with it.
Users holding their breath, waiting for the good old days of one major Firefox version release per year, should exhale and get comfortable, because they’re in for quite a ride.
“Mission drives Mozilla. People sometimes forget that we’re a non-profit, that our only job is to make the Web a better place. Rapid release advances our mission in important ways. We get features and improvements to users faster. We get new APIs and standards out to web developers faster. We are delivering on the promise of the web at web speed,” explained Johnathan Nightingale, director of Firefox Engineering.
The plan is to ship Firefox 7 in September 2011, Firefox 8 in November and Firefox 9 in December, just ahead of Christmas.
Starting in January 2012, end users will get Firefox 10, then Firefox 11 in March, Firefox 12 in April and Firefox 13 in June.
This enumeration can obviously continue for the remainder of 2012 as well as 2013. By the looks of it, Firefox 20 will be released approximately two years from now.
Nightingale notes that it was hard for Mozilla to embrace the new development strategy and accelerated release pace, and he acknowledges users that failed to warm up to the change. However, new Firefox iterations will continue to be provided some six weeks apart.
“The open web is the most amazing, universal communication and distribution platform ever built. To win, the web needs to be agile and responsive. To help it, we need to be agile and responsive, too. That’s why rapid release matters,” he added.
Firefox 7 Beta and Firefox 6 for Windows are available for download here.
Firefox 7 Beta and Firefox 6 for Linux are available for download here.
Firefox 7 Beta and Firefox 6 for Mac are available for download here.