Mozilla Foundation has made some changes to its release calendar to give users more time to test the next major update. Currently, every big update goes through a four-week testing period before moving to the next branch and then to the stable channel. With Firefox 89, things are changing a bit.
Firefox 89 will be a significant release for the browser. Mozilla prepares to launch an overhauled UI called "Proton UI." The company wants to get more feedback from users and leave some space for last-minute adjustments. According to the new calendar, Firefox 89 will be out on June 1, 2021. Firefox 90 will also have a six-week testing period, and the following releases will be back to the traditional four-week schedule.
Firefox 89 will become available in the Beta Channel on April 20, 2021, along with a relatively minor Firefox 88 stable update. The latter will bring smooth touchpad zoom gestures on Linux and remove the screenshot option from the address bar (you can still take screenshots in Firefox 88, though.)
It is worth mentioning that Google and Microsoft also announced plans to change the release schedules for their browsers. Now, stable versions of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge will be getting major updates every four weeks instead of the current six week time span. In contrast to Firefox, Chromium's stable release cadence is not tied to some specific release. Google says they are now confident in their ability to ship new features faster.
At the same time, two companies will offer a new "Extended Stable" channel for enterprises that cannot move to a new schedule. This channel will be getting big releases every eight weeks instead of four. Google and Microsoft plan to change their release schedule policies starting this autumn with the release of Chromium 94 and Edge 94.
Thanks to Sören Hentzschel.
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