Mozilla, maker of the world’s most favorite internet browser Firefox, is advancing its commitment to release an enterprise version of Firefox designed for IT departments that manage employee internet experience from centrally. The Firefox version called Extended Support Release or ESW will get updated at a pace slower that its regular version to allow IT departments enough time to undertake the needed stress tests and benchmarking to certify and adopt any new releases.
The Firefox ESR has been escalated from a “proposal” stage to what Mozilla terms as “a plan of action,” according to Jay Sullivan, a company official in his blog post last Tuesday. His adds: “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.”
In the browser world, it is not uncommon to have frequent patch updates and new release coming to users of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome almost every other week or month. But that’s for consumers who can simply download the patches and get it running. Not so with corporate users whose IT departments requires extensive tests to ensure that any application used systemwide is first homologated and proven safe and robust for use across the company. This is to ensure they don’t get bogged down with cries of help from hundreds of users in the company occurring concurrently in the case the application is not up to par.
Working closely with the company’s Enterprise User Working Group. Mozilla had planned the initial ESR release to have a new version every 30 weeks or 5 releases of its regular browser, with each version’s technical support lasting 42 weeks. But Mozilla pushed the release even longer. According to Sullivan, “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.”
Mozilla is expected to publish more details about its Firefox ESR implementation “within a week” in its Mozilla Development Planning forum as well as on the mailing of its Enterprise User Working Group.