Farewell Firefox 4, I hardly knew ye.
Firefox 4 was released only 3 months ago. Version 3 and its various updates lasted three years.
Why the short shelf life for the entirely revamped Firefox 4? Was something terribly wrong with it? Did it have a security hole the size of Bobby Cox’s trophy case?
But, since Mozilla is no longer issuing vulnerability patches for version 4 — and hackers seem busier than ever lately — you’d be wise to upgrade to version 5 immediately.
Version 5 feels like version 4.1 to the end user, though there are some under the hood achievements.
Why was Firefox 4’s lifespan so short? Marketing, it seems.
Mozilla, the world’s No. 2 browser behind the Microsoft juggernaut Internet Explorer, is trying to fend of Google’s Chrome browser, which has surged in popularity recently.
Currently, Explorer still lays claim to more than 50 percent of the browser war turf, Firefox about 25 percent, Chrome about 15 percent. Safari, Opera and others divvy up the scraps.
The big, and well-paid, brains at Google release a new version of Chrome every six weeks. Firefox developers hear the footsteps.
From now on, they’ll be releasing a “rapid-release” version every three months. Firefox 6 will be out in September.
Unfortunately, many useful Firefox extensions will fail to keep pace with the development cycle and quit working. And office computer gurus will have to update workers’ browsers a lot more often to keep things secure.
So, keep hitting that update button.
Or, just use Chrome. It loads faster.
Capitalism wins again.