Firefox Gets Faster by Revising Its Numbering System

Published on June 21, 2011
by Liz Gannes

Mozilla has rather shamelessly sped up the numbering of its browser releases to push out Firefox 5 today, only three months after the release of Firefox 4.

Firefox 5, now available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android, includes more than 1,000 improvements, including better support for HTML5 and animated CSS, but there aren’t any major changes from the last version.

By contrast, Firefox 4 was released almost three years after Firefox 3, with various major releases called 3.5 and 3.6 along the way.

It seems a reasonable conclusion to say Mozilla is feeling the heat from its younger competitor, Google Chrome — which puts out a release every couple of months and is currently on version 12 — but the company has denied that it’s copying Google. Via Computerworld: “No one invented fast,” said Johnathan Nightingale, director of Firefox development, when asked whether Mozilla’s new rapid release scheme was a response to Google. “We’re developers, we want to get our features out there as quickly as possible.”

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs added today, according to CNET, “The world of the Internet is moving at a faster pace than ever, so we realized we had to start innovating faster.”

The tentative release date for Firefox 6 is August 16.

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