Gone are the days when users had to wait as much as a year between major iterations of Firefox. Mozilla is planning to release no less than 4 new versions of its open source browser by the end of this year.
Firefox 4.0, Firefox 5.0, Firefox 6.0 and Firefox 7.0 will all ship in 2011, the open source browser vendor confirmed
Mozilla intends to radically overhaul its release cycle for Firefox per the Google Chrome model. The current pace at which new Firefox releases are offered to users will accelerate dramatically this year, following the launch of Firefox 4.0.
Among Mozilla’s Product Priorities for 2011, Mike Beltzner, Director of Firefox put “Ship our new technology to users in smaller bundles, more frequently” at no. 1, adding that the browser vendor needs to push “four technology shipment vehicles in 2011, including Firefox 4 and achieve a regular cadence for shipping.”
Mozilla is still hard at work on Firefox 4.0, for which it will deliver Beta 11 later this week
, then Beta 12, moving to the Release Candidate development phase after that.
“Changing the way we ship products will require the re-evaluation of many assumptions and a large shift in the way we think about the size of a "major" release.
“The criteria for inclusion should be no regressions, well understood effects for users, and completion in time for a planned release vehicle,” Beltzner stated.
With an accelerate release pace for new versions of Firefox, users will be able to enjoy new features more rapidly, as opposite to waiting for as much as an entire year.
The plan is for Firefox 5.0 to sport an Account Manager, Simple Sharing UI and UI Animation for example, but also expanded support beyond 32-bit Windows.
Firefox 4.0 Beta 10 for Windows is available for download here.
Firefox 4.0 Beta 10 for Linux is available for download here.
Firefox 4.0 Beta 10 for Mac is available for download here.