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Firefox promises fast and furious feature updates

Mozilla has said it will be following Google's lead and pushing updates of its Firefox browser whenever new features are ready rather than waiting for arbitrary schedules.

Speaking to PC Pro, the outfit's VP of product Jay Sullivan said "What we want to do is get the power into users’ hands more quickly. For example, the video tag was shippable in June - we should have shipped it. Meanwhile, we're waiting for this whole package. Why wouldn't we ship the video tag when it's ready?"

Google announced last year that it would be updating Chrome every six weeks regardless of whether major new functions were ready and Mozilla has made a similar commitment, promising that Firefox would hit version 7 by the end of the year.

Explaining the change of policy, Sullivan said, "We're moving on web time now, and we've been shipping a little bit on desktop time. It's not necessary, so we're undergoing some process changes, and we'll do smaller bundles more quickly."

The new process has already been trialled with the imminent outing of Firefox 4 which has already had 12 betas and should have a stable release within weeks.

"We changed the way we do betas," Sullivan said. "We used to do three or four big betas, now we do betas every three weeks. The number sounds big, but why is there Chrome 9? Because they do fewer features but more releases. So we did fewer features per beta, but more betas. The number's not that meaningful."