After 26 months of life, Mozilla has issued the final update to its Firefox 2.x browser. The Firefox 220.127.116.11 browser out today is accompanied by its successor the Firefox 3.0.5 release.
Firefox 2.x came out on October 26, 2006 and was originally known as Bon Echo. I will always remember Firefox 2 as the first browser to ever really let me deal with the gazillion (actual number) of tabs that I have open. Tab overflow seems quaint now, but for me it was the defining feature of what made Firefox 2.x awesome.
While it’s hard to complain about something that is free, when you compare the lifespan of Firefox 2.x to say Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7, 6 or even Internet Explorer 5 there is a big gap. IE 7 came out the same time as Firefox 2.x, IE 6 came out in 2001. Microsoft still supports IE 7,6 and 5.
Now the OBVIOUS item is the fact that Mozilla has end of life’d Firefox 2.x while IE 7 is still alive – so clearly Mozilla has an accelerated product lifecycle. But still, there are many people out there that will not (or some cases can not) update every two years (not me or you- but there are people like that out there).
Does the shorter lifespan of Mozilla Firefox affect adoption?
I don’t know the answer to that. But one thing does seem likely here – Microsoft (for better or for worse) can claim that it supports its browsers (warts and all) longer than Mozilla.