Updating Arrives (Silently) in Firefox 12
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Beginning with the Firefox 12 release this week, Mozilla is baking in a silent updating mechanism – for Windows users only. There is no change on Mac and Linux users. Instead of a user manually needing to click and update to the latest Firefox release, with Firefox 12 and beyond, updates can be set to automatically occur in the background, without user delay, silently.
"This feature works via a background process that is only activated during an update," Lawrence Mandel, Engineering Program Manager at Mozilla, told InternetNews.com. "The service isn't running when it's not checking so this does not impact memory or CPU usage."
Moving to a silent update process is something that Mozilla has been talking about since the end of 2011. Mozilla moved to a rapid update process in 2011 that has generated new Firefox browser releases every six weeks. It's a process that has been more cumbersome for users, but the silent update will now help to solve that issue.
Keeping users up to date overall is always a challenge and one that presents a security risk for those who lag behind. Google's Chrome browser has had silent updates since its inception and Adobe has recently moved its Flash player to a silent updating mechanism as well. Unlike Chrome, however, Firefox users will still have the option to not enable silent updates.