Mozilla plans to push 12 million users of the aged Firefox 3.5 to a newer version next month by taking the unprecedented step of automatically upgrading their browser.
Firefox 3.5, which debuted in mid-2009, is already on life-support: Mozilla gave users their last version 3.5 security patches three weeks ago. But in June, Mozilla will use another strategy to make Firefox 3.5 "being dead," as one page on the company's site said.
While it will continue to "dangle the carrot" of Firefox 4 to those users -- Mozilla started offering an upgrade to Firefox 4 to people running Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3.6 last week -- it will "force 3.6 on 3.5 stragglers not choosing to update to Firefox 4 or 3.6 (give them the stick)," wrote Christian Legnitto, the Firefox release manager, in a message posted to a developer mailing list.
Later, Legnitto said his choice of the word "force" was ill-advised, and noted that only Firefox 3.5 users who had left the default automatic updates setting enabled would be moved to Firefox 3.6 automatically.
That's one way of getting rid of those browser lolly-gaggers. But seriously folks, this is a great step in the interest of modern standards across the web. So many websites still look poor mainly because of the number of people that still use IE 6.
Many large sites withhold advancing their platform because they realize that many of the newer, fancy tools just won't work in IE 6.
I wonder what would happen in Microsoft "forced" IE 6 users to upgrade along the same lines? I'd expect mass chaos and paranoia. Many client side web apps only work on older browsers. Lazy engineers? Perhaps. I fell asleep writing this blog 4 times, so I'm just as guilty.
I use Chrome as my main browser of choice and it seems like that application has a new update every 5 minutes. Have you seen their new Chromebooks? That's a laptop with just a browser and nothing else. Imagine using a laptop with an outdated browsers such as Netscape and you'll soon understand why it's important to upgrade your applications at SOME point. The enterprise would be the main reason MS wouldn't do something like this. Well, unless Microsoft wants to make our jobs harder. Hip hip, hooray for web standards!