After Firefox 5 was released, Mozilla announced that they will no longer provide support for Firefox 4. This might be a non-issue for regular users but a huge inconvenience for enterprise which deploys Firefox on a large-scale. Before enterprise deployment, any software usually goes through a testing cycle. So, predictably the rapid release cycle of Firefox is causing problems for enterprises which uses Firefox.
Well, I expected Mozilla to release a statement defending the rapid release cycle in light of the enterprise deployment. Instead, Asa Doztler, community coordinator for Firefox at Mozilla, did the opposite. In reply to a blog post by Mike Kaplay, detailing the problems enterprises are facing because of the new Firefox rapid release cycle, Doztler replied that Firefox’s focus is the regular users not the enterprise and that enterprise is just a small fraction of a percent of the Firefox user base.
This is what Asa Doztler wrote in reply to Mike Kaplay:
Mike, you do realize that we get about 2 million Firefox downloads per day from regular user types, right? Your “big numbers” here are really just a drop in the bucket, fractions of fractions of a percent of our user base.
Enterprise has never been (and I’ll argue, shouldn’t be) a focus of ours. Until we run out of people who don’t have sysadmins and enterprise deployment teams looking out for them, I can’t imagine why we’d focus at all on the kinds of environments you care so much about.
This should come as a good news to Microsoft who is trying to use this opportunity to promote Internet Explorer for enterprise. But this will be a huge shock to the enterprise who deploys Firefox in thousands of computers.
In all fairness, the jump from Firefox 5 to Firefox 4 is very small compared to that from Firefox 3.6 to Firefox 4. For all practical purposes, Firefox 5 is just a small update to Firefox 4. In fact, many have even called Firefox 5 as just Firefox 4.0.2. So, the update from Firefox 4 to Firefox 5 should be a non-issue.
What do you think? Do you think that Mozilla is right in neglecting the enterprise?
[source: PC Pro]