GMA News Online

Mozilla to kill Firefox 3.5, force upgrade

May 17, 2011 6:14pm
With Mozilla's Firefox already on version 4, the browser maker is planning to "kill" its nearly two-year-old Firefox 3.5 by forcing the old version's users to upgrade with a "carrot-and-stick" approach to deployment.

Firefox release manager Christian Legnitto said that with Mozilla no longer releasing updates for Firefox 3.5, it will force users to upgrade to at least version 3.6, and encourage them to go all the way to version 4.

"We want to do this quickly. We want users to self-select into running Firefox 4 if at all possible (dangle the carrot)," he said.

But he added that Mozilla will also "force 3.6 on 3.5 stragglers not choosing to update to Firefox 4 or 3.6 (give them the stick).

"We feel comfortable making the major update choice for users because a) the versions are very similar and b) we'd rather lose a small amount of miffed users than leave a large amount of users vulnerable," he said.

Legnitto clarified that the only time Mozilla will release another update for 3.5 is if there is a "chemspill" or major outbreak.

He indicated the forced upgrades have been initially scheduled for June.

"No real actions need to take place until June, so there aren't pressing requirements that could impact the new release process," he said.

A Computerworld article posted on PC World indicated there are 12 million users of the aged Firefox 3.5.

Mozilla has started offering an upgrade to Firefox 4 to people running Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3.6 last week.

"Previously as a courtesy we had people opt-in between major versions due to the potential jarring nature of the update. We feel the difference between 3.5 and 3.6 is not severe and with 3.5 reaching end-of-life 3.6 is the security update for 3.5 users," he said.

On June 21, the day Firefox 5 is supposed to ship, Mozilla will automatically push Firefox 3.6.18, a standard security update, if the company resolves a few remaining bugs.

Mozilla has also told Firefox 3.5 users that they are running an out-of-date browser. — TJD, GMA News
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