The first security and stability update for Firefox 3.0 is planned to drop one day short of a month since the general availability of the latest iteration of the open source browser. Mozilla will make available Firefox 3.0.1 tomorrow, July 16, 2008, taking Firefox 3.0 one step further on its evolution. The delivery date has been confirmed as early as July 14, at the Mozilla Weekly Status Meeting, along with the deadline for the availability of Firefox 184.108.40.206. In this regard, Mozilla is making the first step towards establishing version 3.0 as the main Firefox browser.
Firefox 3.0.1 will be considered as the candidate for an update rollout designed to be pushed to all current users of Firefox 2.0. Mozilla is by no means jumping the gun on making users upgrade to the latest version of Firefox. The end of Firefox 2.0 has been set for mid December 2007, six months after the release of v3.0. At that time, Mozilla will no longer release any security or stability update for Firefox 2.0.
Unlike Microsoft, Mozilla has an extremely short support lifecycle, usually just half a year, for older Firefox releases after newer versions are shipped. The Redmond company ties support for Internet Explorer with that of the Windows service packs, and in this manner IE enjoys years and years of support. Internet Explorer 6 users, for example, will be able to benefit from Extended support until 2014 when Microsoft plans to kill Windows XP Service Pack 3.
Mozilla has a more dynamic lifecycle, and at the same time one that does not bode well with corporate customers. Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 were released in the same month, at the end of 2006. Since then, Firefox 2.0 has all but wiped out its predecessor Firefox 1.5 which still accounts for a market share of just 0.36%, according to Net Applications. By comparison, the share of IE6 is still bigger than that of Firefox, counting all versions, namely 26.38%, while in almost two years, IE7 has only made it to 46.45%.