Mozilla Adds New Firefox Channel to Facilitate Rapid Release Schedule

Paul Lilly

Are you under the impression that the modern day browser war doesn't amount to a hill of beans? Try telling that to Mozilla, who is in a dogfight with Microsoft (Internet Explorer) and Google (Chrome) for browser dominance. With plenty of ad dollars at stake and control over emerging Web standards, browser makers have vested interest in grabbing as much market share as they can. Mozilla, whose second place Firefox browser is at serious risk of being overrun Chrome, announced a new rapid release development cycle, with an early version of Firefox 5 now up for grabs.

Previously there were three channels with which to test new features in Firefox. These included:

  1. Nightly test builds: Includes features not tested by Mozilla QA
  2. Firefox Beta: Broadly test the stability of new features and improvements in the next version of Firefox
  3. Firefox Final Release: Deliver the polished and stable features in Firefox to hundreds of millions of users

Now there's a fourth channel called "Aurora," which Mozilla says is a place users can go to test the latest features and innovations. The first version of what will end up being Firefox 5 landed in the Aurora channel earlier this week, which is similar to Google's "dev" channel for Chrome. Firefox 5 is expected to go into beta form on or around May 17, with a final release scheduled for June 21.

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