When we started the rapid release process after Firefox 4, we hoped to inform our users about the various channels and provide an easy way to switch between them. The channel switcher was intended to give more adventurous users a way to experience the very latest technology available on Firefox Beta and Firefox Aurora.
Over the past few weeks, we reflected on how the channel switcher was working, and observed a few things:
- Our adventurous users are very adventurous, and often have multiple versions of Firefox installed side-by-side
- By contrast, very few users actually want to switch back and forth between different levels of stability and feature support for a single Firefox install
- We have better ways to reach our users and educate them about Firefox channels than the About Firefox dialog box
Upon reflection, the very users we want to reach are better served by having separate versions installed side by side than by having a channel switcher integrated into the browser.
We want to invest our future engineering and testing efforts where they can best help our users. Given what we know now, it makes more sense to remove the channel switcher than it does to continue maintaining it.
You can always try out future versions of Firefox before their official release by installing one of the Firefox channel builds from firefox.com/channel.
Director of Firefox Development