Mozilla tells large corporations to get on their bikes

Big cheeses at the the open source outfit Mozilla have told corporate users who don’t like its breakneck upgrade cycle to get lost.

This week Mozilla Corporation shipped Firefox 5 which was only three months after it shipped Firefox 4. In six weeks we will see Firefox 6, and Firefox 7 six weeks after that. So Mozilla is releasing upgrades as fast as its browser rival Chrome.

Corporate users who think this is a jolly bad idea have been officially told by the open source browser outfit to not bother.

However Firefox expert Mike Kaply is telling hs customers not to upgrade.

Writing in his bog, he said that the new rapid-release policy is “a really bad idea.” While ordinary people love installing new code every five minutes, enterprises crave stability.

A major browser update can’t be turned around every six weeks and with security releases there is a expectation that web applications will not break. With these major releases, there is no such expectation, Kaply said.

A company needs to run a full test cycle with every release. By the time this cycle is completed and the browser is piloted and deployed, another version of Firefox would already be released so they’d already be behind.

Kaply quotes two fellow enterprise admins who are extremely worried about their ability to support Firefox.

But Mozilla seems to have had an attack of grumpiness about the problems of corporate users. Firefox evangelist Asa Dotzler posted a comment on Kaply’s post to tell him that they could all go forth and multiply.

Basically he seems to think that with two million Firefox downloads per day from regular user types, Mozilla does not need corporate users. He said that the enterprise has never been, and shouldn’t be a Mozilla focus.

He added that a minute spent making a corporate user happy can better be spent making many regular users happy.

“I’d much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don’t have enterprise support systems already taking care of them,” he said.

Well that means that if you are an enterprise admin, perhaps one who joined the switch to Firefox after the EU advised it, you should re-install Explorer or Chrome which is a little more corporate orientated.

In fact Kaply warned that each version of Firebadger will end its life when the new one comes out. This effectively means that large corporations have no chance of ever keeping up.

We guess this situation will be greeted with sighs of relief in Redmond as the much maligned Internet Explorer family emerges as a viable enterprise browser.