One of the primary reasons why enterprise systems stick to Internet Explorer or Firefox is that both these browsers are released slowly with considerable difference between two releases. However, over the last year, Firefox went from version 4 to version 9. It was rapid and new releases kept coming out, pretty much like in the rapid release cycle of Google Chrome. This endangered the enterprise love that Firefox enjoyed. Therefore, Mozilla has decided to release one Firefox version that will be supported throughout a year. This version will be called the Firefox Extended Support Release, similar to the Ubuntu LTS. The feature is due to appear in Firefox 10. It will have add-on compatibility turned on by default and will simply be called the Mozilla Firefox ESR.
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. 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.
Although the ESR version uses the same version number as the base Firefox version, there is a chance it will change later. Moreover, now that ESR has been finalized for Firefox, the Thunderbird team is also discussing an ESR version on their mailing list. However, Firefox mobile will not have an ESR version unfortunately. As if the new release process was not enough, Mozilla is bringing major changes into Firefox making it future proof. From being notorious for its memory leaks and slow speed, Firefox has emerged as the challenging browser it used to be. Now, it only needs to recapture the market it lost to Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. You can read this interesting discussion on Slashdot to get a better perspective on the matter.