Mozilla seeks to reassure enterprises with Firefox support

Mozilla is trying to find a way to support enterprises using the Firefox web browser.

Mozilla is trying to find a way to support enterprises using the Firefox web browser.

Asa Doztler, community co-ordinator for Firefox marketing and founder of Mozilla's quality assurance scheme, sparked debate when he said Mozilla's focus will be on creating improvements for individuals rather than enterprises .

But Mozilla said in a blog post it was exploring ways to balance enterprise needs with its focus on individual users, which allows frequent updates to protect users against emerging security threats.

Mozilla acknowledged the need for enterprises to certify websites, apps and add-ons every time Firefox is updated.

"Security is also paramount, enterprises need access to a version that includes all known security fixes. Open source software is well-suited to these challenges, as interested parties can come together to build what is needed," Asa Doztler added.

IT administrators spoke out about the testing and deployment implications of Mozilla's rapid release process for Firefox, on the blog of Firefox consultant, Mike Kaply .

Firefox 5 was released a few months after Firefox 4, which took a year to release. This led some IT administrators to complain at the announcement of Firefox 4 end of life (EOL).

One user said: "The Firefox 4 EOL is a kick in the stomach. I'm now in the terrible position of choosing to deploy a Firefox 4 release with potentially unpatched vulnerabilities, reset the test cycle for thousands of internal apps to validate Firefox 5 or stay on a patched Firefox 3.6.x."

In response, Asa Doztler commented: "I'd much rather Mozilla spend its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don't have enterprise support systems already taking care of them."

Microsoft was quick to outline its commitment to making it easy for enterprise customers to manage updates every eight weeks to ensure compliance with its requirements.

Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's corporate vice-president of Internet Explorer, said: "Making the web better for large organisations with managed IT is just as important as making the web better for consumers and developers."

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