Firefox 4 won’t go gold until next year

Catching up to the competition is going to take Mozilla a little longer than expected. As CNet News reports, Mozilla has postponed the final release of Firefox 4.0 until 2011. The completed browser was originally due this year, but in a recent mailing list post, Mozilla Director of Firefox Mike Beltzner suggests getting it ready will take more work than expected:

Development on Firefox 4 has not slowed down and strong progress is being made daily. However, based on the delays in completing the "feature complete" Beta 7 milestone against which our Add-on developers and third-party software developers can develop, as well as considering the amount of work remaining to prepare Firefox 4 for final release, we have revised our beta and release candidate schedule.

The revised beta schedule calls for the arrival of the seventh beta early next month, with three additional betas due out by the end of the year. The first release candidate will be out in early 2011, followed eventually by the completed 4.0 release.

By then, I’d expect Google’s fast-paced release schedule to have brought us at least Chrome 8. (Major new versions of Chrome are rolling out every six weeks or so.) The folks at Ars Technica also reckon Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 will be out in the first half of next year.

Comments closed
    • curv4k
    • 9 years ago

    I used 4 beta for about 3 days before the 30 second start up time got on my last nerve. Did anyone else have this issue?

      • jstern
      • 9 years ago

      I haven’t had that problem.

      What I really like about FireFox 4 is that I can close it and reopen it half a second later, unlike firefox 3, which makes me wait, or else I would get a message saying that firefox can’t open because it’s still shutting down or something.

      Every once in a while I would close FireFox 3 by mistake, and not being able to reopen it instantly would just add to the irritation.

    • ew
    • 9 years ago

    Beta 7 can’t happen soon enough. Beta 6 has some nasty javascript crashing bugs.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    I’d love to see TR do a comparison when some of these major releases are out. At least the latest stable at that particular time. Maybe FF4, Chrome 8, IE9, some form of Safari 5 and even possibly Opera 11? That would be neat.

      • Nutmeg
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, that would be pretty great.

    • PeterD
    • 9 years ago

    “By then, I’d expect Google’s (…) Chrome 8. (…) The folks at Ars Technica also reckon Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 will be out in the first half of next year.”

    Those are only numbers.

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    Bummer about Adobe flash having those zero days though and ruining all browser parties. It’s time to turn off the Flash for goodg{<.<}g s[<*Yes, the ONLY thing I agree with Jobs on.<]s

    • entropy13
    • 9 years ago

    During the early days of 3.x they were already expecting a 2011 release for Firefox 4. They just reiterated that.

    • jackaroon
    • 9 years ago

    The moz development cycle seems so weird sometimes. You have your full time employees that will work on major developments (e.g. tracemonkey) at a normal pace, but then a lot of things just sort of sit idle for months . . . so you can actually run nightlies during that time and expect everything to work great 99% of the time. Then they release a beta, and other projects start coming out of the woodwork. Between the release of firefox 3.5 and 4.0b1, I don’t think I ever crashed on these pre-alpha builds, but once some people saw the clock was ticking, all these other modifications started pouring in, and the nightlies have been a mess, on and off, ever since. I can only presume this is what we get from freebie contributors, so I’m not exactly saying it’s a bad thing. In terms of bugginess / quality for release, firefox goes backwards when a beta comes out. Features are added throughout the beta cycle. If you’re strict about such terms, I’d say firefox doesn’t have a real “beta” until RC2.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 9 years ago

    Only reason I use Firefox is because of Downthemall. Best download manager I’ve ever come across.

      • PeterD
      • 9 years ago

      I’ll remember that.

        • kvndoom
        • 9 years ago

        Yes, that is an awesome extension, which I sadly often forget to use.

    • poulpy
    • 9 years ago

    Meh. What’s 2 months delay in a world where we have DNF and the like?
    Also kudos for Ars and their wild prediction that IE9 will be out within the next 8 months, takes some balls!

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, such a fierce competition in the browser world. All browsers have reached very high levels of quality and I don’t think it really matters which one you use.

      • esterhasz
      • 9 years ago

      True, browsers have gotten a lot better over the last years but currently the race is on to implement new features (WebGL, HTML5, etc.) and to be set up for the coming browser wars on emergent platforms.

      I really hope however that Mozilla will use some of that delay time to improve stability on the Mac. While FF crashes on me rarely on W7, on the Mac it’s at least once a day, which is not cool at all. Switched to Chrome for that but I’d love to go back…

      • PeterD
      • 9 years ago

      ” Wow, such a fierce competition in the browser world.”

      Yes, especially if you know that they’re giving them away for free.
      What’s the catch?
      My mother always told me not to accept free candy from strangers.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      It does, Firefox has yet to fix some interface features and general browser interaction speeds.

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