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Mozilla Lays Out Firefox Enterprise 17 Release Plans

firefoxFrom the 'Open Source Upgrade or Else!' files:

Enterprise users were never really fans of Mozilla's insanely rapid release cycle for the open source Firefox web browser. So, in order to help out enterprise users, Mozilla launched the ESR (Extended Supported Release) with Firefox 10. That ESR is still maintained with security updates as Mozilla updates the mainline branch currently at Firefox 15.

Mozilla developer Alex Keybl has now detailed the plans for how Firefox ESR 10 users will migrate (or not) to the next ESR release. The plan is for the next ESR to be based on Firefox 17 which should be out around November 20th.

Existing ESR 10 users will then have until February 19th of 2013 when the Firefox 19 release is out to upgrade voluntarily.

That's right, Mozilla plans on 'automatically' updating Firefox ESR 10 users after February 20th.

You would think that Mozilla would simply auto update ESR 10 users to ESR 17, but that's not the current plan. Currently the plan is to do the auto-update to Firefox 19.

"If a user is still on ESR17 after 2/19, we can be confident that they were not a part of a deployment scenario requiring qualification, and we'd like to instead support them on mainline Firefox," Keybl said. "This is similar to what we did with our final update of Firefox 3.6 (it was also updated to mainline), which was also in an extended support scenario."

We are still more than five months away from that cutover date, so there is time for that auto-update decision to change. Personally I understand the rationale, but I also think it makes more sense to stick with an ESR if a user already is on the ESR.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.