Update on 2016 Firefox Release Schedule

Four years ago Mozilla moved to a fixed-schedule release model, otherwise known as the Train Model, in which we released Firefox every six weeks to get features and updates to users faster and move at the speed of the Web. We studied the process carefully and learned a lot. We have also identified additional areas for improvement and it’s time we iterate again.

We are moving to a variably scheduled six-to-eight week release cycle for Firefox. With this new release cycle, we will deliver the same number of releases per year but gain a few significant benefits over the previous six week fixed model.

For example, we will now be able to adjust release dates to respond to emerging user and market needs and provide at least six working weeks for every release. We also want to help support the well-being and connectedness of our global Mozilla community by specifically allowing time for holidays.

You’ll find the 2016 Firefox release schedule listed below and in the following Wiki.

2016 Firefox Release Schedule
2016-01-26 – Firefox 44
2016-03-08 – Firefox 45, ESR 45 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-04-19 – Firefox 46 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-06-07 – Firefox 47 (7 weeks cycle)
2016-08-02 – Firefox 48 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-09-13 – Firefox 49 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-11-08 – Firefox 50 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-12-13 – Firefox 50.0.1 (5 week cycle, release for critical fixes as needed)
2017-01-24 – Firefox 51 (6 weeks from prior release)

Note: Firefox ESR will continue to ship point releases on the same day that Firefox ships.

Help Test Firefox Hello Beta

Firefox Hello Beta is the global communications system built directly into a Web browser and we’ve worked with our partner Telefonica to add new features to Hello, thanks to your feedback.

Firefox Hello Beta on Windows, Mac and Linux now makes it easier to make decisions together by letting you browse and discuss a webpage with others instantly through Firefox. You don’t need an account or login to connect through text messaging or video chat while sharing any tab you’re browsing. You can use Firefox Hello Beta to organize an event with colleagues, prepare travel plans with friends or shop together with relatives.

browse-together-Firefox-Hello1To try Firefox Hello Beta, just go to a website that you want to discuss and click the Hello button Hello iconin the Firefox toolbar to share it.

1.    Click on the button that reads “browse this page with a friend”.

browse-with-friend22.     Next, copy the room link and send it to your friend, colleague or relative.

invite-friend3

As soon as the other person clicks the link they will join and be able to see the website you are sharing. Please help us test new features and share your feedback when prompted at the end of your Firefox Hello Beta session.

We’ll be adding more features to Firefox Hello Beta soon to help you make decisions together. Stay tuned!

More information:

Firefox 64-bit for Windows Available

Today we are releasing Firefox 64-bit for Windows to offer gains in performance for users with 64-bit systems. We’re pleased to offer it to users of Windows 7 and above looking for added performance for applications and games.

Firefox 64-bit for Windows, by design, has limited support for plugins and users will notice that certain sites requiring plugins that worked in previous 32-bit versions of Firefox might not work in this 64-bit version. As we’ve shared previously, Mozilla intends to remove support for most NPAPI plugins in Firefox by the end of 2016.

To download and install Firefox 64-bit for Windows go to the Firefox All Systems page.

We’re counting on your feedback to continue improving Firefox with 64-bit support.

More information:

Announcing Focus by Firefox, a Content Blocker for iOS

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of Focus by Firefox, a free content blocker for Safari users on iOS 9 that gives users greater control of their mobile Web experience. Focus by Firefox puts users in control of their privacy by allowing them to block categories of trackers such as those used for ads, analytics and social media. Focus by Firefox may also increase performance and reduce mobile data usage by blocking Web fonts. We welcome your feedback as we explore ways to offer more features in Focus by Firefox in the future.

focus_blogDownload_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40Users can download and install Focus by Firefox from the App Store, and once it is installed, launching the app will provide a guide to finish configuration. Focus by Firefox will block the same trackers that are blocked by Private Browsing with Tracking Protection in Firefox for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android, based on Disconnect’s open source blocklist.

Currently, Focus by Firefox only works with Safari, not Firefox for iOS. This was not our choice—Apple has chosen to make content blocking unavailable to third party browsers on iOS. We are exploring how we can provide this feature on Firefox for iOS and will deliver it as soon as it’s possible.

You can learn more about why we created Focus by Firefox here. We’re excited about sharing this release with you today and we’re already working on making Focus by Firefox even better in the future!

Mozilla-pioneered asm.js and WebGL achieve milestone as the Unity game engine provides full support for WebGL titles

We have great news to share. Our long-standing partner, Unity announced today that it is removing the preview label from its WebGL export functionality as of Unity 5.3. Over the past six months Unity and browser makers have been pushing hard to address quality and performance issues to offer developers full support for creating titles using this technology.

We wanted to give an update on all of Mozilla’s efforts to drive Web gaming online. In brief, we continue to see growing support from other browser providers for the Web technologies — including Mozilla-pioneered asm.js and WebGL — that empower developers to build amazing game experiences.

Adoption by Other Browser Makers

The Web game stack is a collection of Web technologies that — when brought together — empower developers to build high-end video game experiences for users. We continue to see strong support for the Web games technology stack across browsers. The WebGL graphics API has already spread across all browsers. And since our last update, other browsers have made significant strides in their asm.js implementation.

Microsoft’s Edge browser has enabled targeted asm.js optimization by default, and Google’s Chrome browser added asm.js to their status tracking board as a defacto standard. In addition, Safari has also made improvements to asm.js performance with the release of their FTLJIT optimizations last year, and included asm.js code in their benchmark JetStream. Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari can now run Unity WebGL on the desktop.

Games

All of this support has led to exploration and interest from game developers. EVERYDAYiPLAY shipped Heroes of Paragon on the Web via Facebook. To quote Vincent Vergonjeanne, EVERYDAYiPLAY’s CEO and Founder, “Today we have a Web game with awesome performance running friction-free in all contemporary browsers. We also launched the game on mobile at the same time, and are excited to state that our initial launch data shows the Web version is outperforming both iOS and Android. People are spending more and playing longer when playing on the Web!” Heroes of Paragon is now available to play one click away.

Heroes Of Paragon

The Future

We continue to work with other browser makers on improving the potential of games on the Web. Mozilla is working on technologies such as WebAssembly, WebGL 2, SharedArrayBuffer, and SIMD support which promise to enable ever better experiences. To learn more about Mozilla’s efforts to improve games on the Web, please visit games.mozilla.org.

Extending the Web’s capabilities in Firefox and beyond

As part of Mozilla’s mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web we not only make our own products, like Firefox, but work on technologies that will benefit the entire Web ecosystem. We do this because we want the Web to reach its full potential and grow with interoperable and consistent experiences for both users and developers. This includes experimenting with Service Workers and other technologies that enable a new design pattern known as Progressive Web Apps -a key next step in the Web Apps story. Continue reading …

NPAPI Plugins in Firefox

Mozilla has been steadily improving the Web platform to support features that were once only available via NPAPI plugins. Streaming video, advanced graphics, and gaming features have all become native Web APIs in the past few years. Mozilla continues to prioritize features that will make it possible for sites to switch away from plugins. Features such as clipboard access which used to require plugins are now available via native Web APIs. As browsers and the Web have grown, NPAPI has shown its age. Plugins are a source of performance problems, crashes, and security incidents for Web users. Continue reading …

Help Test Private Browsing with Tracking Protection in Firefox Beta

Firefox Beta, with experimental new features like Tracking Protection in Private Browsing, is now available for testing. We’re always working to give users more choice and control over their Web experience and we have a hypothesis that users have a greater expectation of privacy when using Private Browsing. We’ve gotten feedback from some of our pre-beta users that supports this. Users reported that they believed Private Browsing was already protecting them from third-party tracking across the Internet. Continue reading …

Windows 10 and User Choice

User choice is a core principle with which we design our products. In particular, we’ve found that the best way to design products is to craft experiences where our users understand the choices they are making and ensuring those choices are respected.

A recent example is how we evolved our strategy around search in favor of a more geographically targeted approach to search. First, when we changed the default search provider shipping with Firefox in a relevant geography, if a user had chosen a specific search provider as default before the switch, we respected that choice and made no change to that user’s default. Second, we redesigned the user interface to make it easier to both change the default search engine as well as choose different search engines on a per-search basis with a single click. Continue reading …