Firefox Speeds Up Its Update Cycle to Get Ahead of Chrome


Mozilla has just announced that the update cycle for Firefox will be increased to 4 weeks instead of 6 to 8. This is to bring “ features faster to the  market”, and of course to take market share from Google Chrome.

The Mozilla Firefox browser is updated every 6 to 8 weeks, bringing new features on Windows, MacOS, but also Android and iOS. Version 68 and its general dark theme arrived in July, and version 69 with better privacy management in September. This cycle will nevertheless accelerate.

In a blog post dated September 17, Mozilla explains that the update cycle for Firefox will accelerate from the first quarter of 2020 to 4 weeks. The foundation says this is designed to “increase our agility and bring you new features faster ”, adding that it has been regularly asked lately to bring new features faster. This will also allow new APIs to be brought to developers more quickly.

Here is the new deployment schedule for the Stable version of Firefox (dates may still change if necessary):

By way of comparison, Google Chrome is updated approximately every six weeks. These two weeks of differences could give Firefox the extra energy to grab market share from its competitor. As a reminder, at the beginning of 2019, Google Chrome was the reference for about 60 to 70% of users according to studies.

Quality at the heart of updates

Despite this acceleration of the update cycle, Mozilla promises that the quality of updates will not be affected. Thanks to its different deployment channels (Nightly, Beta and Developer Edition), Firefox should therefore maintain the same stability, notably with a loop acceleration of feedbacks and a large panel of testers.

As can be seen in the table above, Mozilla intends to accelerate the update cycle of Firefox progressively, which will allow to verify the impact on developers’ productivity.

It only remains to be seen how other web browsers, especially Google Chrome, will react to this announcement.

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