Popular freeware desktop browser Firefox has just released a major incentive to its enterprise customers in the form of a Extended Support Release version. Many IT managers have been wary to use Firefox owing to the large number of updates that the browser goes through every year (about nine).
This frequent updating has meant many IT managers have been unable to keep up with the updates because in most cases they have to deal with massive deployments across several hundred if not thousand computers.
What an ESR essentially means for them therefore is that Mozilla will release one enterprise ESR version of Firefox to the market annually that shall receive security updates but shall not be affected by browser and add on updates. This version will be released parallel to the mass market version which will be unchanged and will continue to receive the full suite of updates every update cycle.
Mozilla seem to be changing tact as they contend with the emergent threat of Chrome that has zipped past Firefox in terms of number of users. But it’s a good move as it puts Firefox in better standing with enterprise customers who are mostly IE customers.
This however means that IE will continue to lose out both from Chrome, which has eaten up a huge chunk of its user base and Mozilla who are now wncrouching on Microsoft’s red plum market of enterprise customers. Chrome have not yet announced anything similar and it may not be a direction Google may consider owing to the super socialization of the Chrome web browser through the integration of an App Store and social extensions.
The new ESR release will be based on Firefox 10 and more details will be posted on the Mozilla website in a week or so to offer more insight into what teh new release will look like among other details.