Firefox 2 Inevitable Demise Prompts Update Requests
Article by George Norman
On 30 Oct 2008
If you are still using version 2.X of Mozilla’s popular Firefox browser, then you are out of luck because by the end of December the software will no longer receive support from Mozilla. That’s right, in about six weeks time Mozilla will drop Firefox 2 and focus on the very popular 3.0 version. What can you, as a user do? There are a couple of options, the worst one being that you continue to use the browser even though no updates, patches and security fixes will be made available.

From a statistical point of view (which is also backed by Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner) about two thirds of all Firefox users have already switched to the 3.0 version. Even though the greater part of Firefox fans have made the decisive 3.0 step and Mozilla is currently working on version 3.1, ending Firefox 2 support is still under debate. The debate will end once the developers of this software will finish collecting feedback from the users. All that data will be compiled in a list of “advantages vs. disadvantages” and a decision will be made.

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The catch is that by dropping Firefox 2, the Mozilla Foundation will also drop the Gecko layout engine 1.8 which is used in other software products such as Thunderbird 2, SeaMonkey, Sunbird and Camino. All these programs will be vulnerable to malicious attack and vulnerability exploitation unless the support period is extended.

About those options I was talking about earlier. Here they are: option number one is also the simplest, to upgrade to v. 3.0. Option number two, assuming that you really, really do not want to use Firefox 3.0 is to switch browsers – choose from Opera 9, Internet Explorer 8, and even Google Chrome.

In related news, 2008 marks Mozilla’s tenth anniversary. The Mozilla code was released under an open source license back in 1998, on the last day of March. We wish Mozilla all the best and hope that we will get to use its software products for decades more to come.



Tags: Mozilla, Firefox
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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