For some interesting stats Firefox 3.7 Alpha 1 was released back in February 2010 using the Gecko 1.9 rendering engine. Furthermore, it was supposed to be an incremental release after the Firefox 3.6. This is something that never happened. Afterwards, Mozilla directly jumped to the Firefox 4.0 naming scheme instead of releasing anything final with the 3.7 numbering. Probably, their point was that Firefox 4.0 first beta release was using Gecko 2.0 engine and it was more than an incremental release. Fast forward to this day and almost a year after we are still stuck in the beta release cycle. There is already talk about beta 11 for the Firefox that should be here any day now. According to some reports beta 12 is also certain to arrive before Mozilla will move to the RC (Release Code) status for Firefox 4.0. Apparently there are some critical bugs that are still pending that need to be fixed before RC status can reached. When Firefox 3.6 was released back in the days (2009) people were already saying that 5 beta releases are bit too much. But now we are preparing to move to the 12th beta for Firefox 4.0! However, according to the Mozilla’s CTO Firefox 4.0 final release should be available sometime in February. This is what he said sometime ago. Although, I am not sure how it’s goanna happen now! It is very likely that Mozilla will slide/delay their release schedule even further to make it feasible. We will see….
In addition to the frustration that is rising among the loyal Firefox 4.0 fan base because of these frustrating delays there are some other issues! I am talking about some controversial decisions made by the Mozilla team in GUI design and other functionality of the Firefox 4.0. For example introduction of Panoramas, making Firefox Sync a part of the core feature set, removal of the statusbar and replacement with the Add-on bar among some other poor design decisions. These decisions have really made many users uncomfortable, and some users as I know have even moved to the Chrome camp you know!
Apart from talking about the status of the Firefox 4.0 Mozilla CTO had some interesting bits to say about the upcoming Firefox 5.0. He said that Mozilla will speed up the release cycle from now on the meet the user expectations. And Firefox 5.0 that is expected to be next major release of Firefox after 4.0 should be available only 4 months after the Firefox 4.0 final release!.So, assuming that Firefox final version is released in February, Firefox 5.0 should be available by mid of this year (although this schedule seems a bit too optimistic to me). Furthermore, there are reports that next version of the Firefox (which seems to be Firefox 5.0 as of now) will remove the profile manage. Although same functionality could be included by using a Firefox extension. As more details emerge about the upcoming Firefox 5.0 we will for sure update you.
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