Mozilla Plans ‘Aggressive’ Firefox OS Quarterly Update Schedule

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Mozilla plans six-weekly security updates for the mobile OS too

Firefox OS will receive quarterly upgrades and six-weekly security updates as part of “the most aggressive mobile OS release strategy out there,” Mozilla has confirmed.

The intention is to integrate the open source mobile operating system into Mozilla’s existing release schedule which sees Firefox, Firefox for Android and Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) receive updates almost exactly every six weeks.

“Like a well-practiced choir, we synchronise our technical and organisational heartbeat around releases,” explained Alex Keybl, manager of release management at Mozilla. “This heartbeat enables us to push a unified vision across the entire web, keep our users regularly delighted with new (many times cross-platform) functionality, and prevent any one product from lagging behind in security updates.”

Firefox OS updates

mozilla-firefox-posterWhilst based on the Gecko engine used by other Mozilla products, Firefox OS has to take the timelines and requirements of manufacturers, operators and chipset producers into consideration. That has led Mozilla to standardise the OS on Gecko 18 for the first two major releases.

“It made us ‘skip a beat’, but for all the right reasons,” said Keybl, who added the platform would now be brought up to speed now the first version of Firefox OS had been released.

“This sort of alignment across multiple browser products, and now an OS, is unprecedented at the pace we’re moving.”

The ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire were the first smartphones running Firefox OS to be released earlier this month and target emerging markets and first-time smartphone buyers.  There is no indication as to when the platform will find its way to the UK, but handsets should be available in 11 countries by the end of the year.

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