Firefox will do monthly releases starting next year

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The once freedom-respecting and slim Firefox web browser from the Mozilla Corporation will get fresh releases every four weeks starting January 7th, 2020. Mozilla switched to a variable schedule with releases every six to eight weeks back in 2016.

Mozilla Firefox version 69.0.1 showing Firefox's homepage

The Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) version for enterprises customers and people who prefer a more predictable web browser will also be updated with bug-fixes and minor changes to the stable version it is based on every four weeks. Major versions of Firefox ESR will get released every twelve months. The prior ESR version will then be supported for another 3 months before it is abandoned.

Firefox Version ESR version Planned Release Date
69 68.1 2019-09-03
70 68.1 2019-10-22
71 68.3 2019-12-03
71 68.3 2019-12-03
72 68.4 2020-01-07
74 68.6 2020-03-10
75 68.7 2020-04-07
76 68.8 2020-05-05
77 68.9 2020-06-02
78 68.10,78.0 2020-07-28
79 68.11, 78.2 2020-08-25
80 68.12, 78.2 2020-08-25

The more freedom-respecting but hard to use Firefox variant GNU IceCat is based on the Firefox ESR branch which means that it follows a similar schedule with a delay of about one month.

Mozilla story regarding why they are speeding up their release schedule is this:

"We’re adjusting our cadence to increase our agility, and bring you new features more quickly. In recent quarters, we’ve had many requests to take features to market sooner. Feature teams are increasingly working in sprints that align better with shorter release cycles. Considering these factors, it is time we changed our release cadence."

Mozilla statement on their new release cycle

Mozilla is a small player compared to Google (Android/Chromium) and Microsoft (Windows/Edge) and the new release cycle is a bold undertaking. Mozilla plans to do "staged roll-outs" of new versions to minimize the risks the rushed releases the new release schedule entails. This essentially makes a portion of the browsers beta-testers who either accept the new versions or complain so loudly that the rest of Mozilla's dwindling user-base do not get the new version until the complains are addressed. Those who do not like to be unpaid beta-testers can of course stick with the Firefox ESR versions.