Awhile ago, the folks over at Mozilla announced that Firefox would go through various regular updates. This decision was likely based upon the fact that Google’s Chrome is updated frequently. Rather than wait to add new features and improve the browser, Firefox decided to make small improvements every few months.
Recently, word that Mozilla has shipped the new Firefox reached tech ears everywhere. Yet, few articles about the latest Firefox version surfaced. The reasoning behind this is clear: the new Firefox is, seemingly, nothing to write home about. To be fair, Firefox 6 does have some original features and it is a bit faster, but you won’t see many drastic changes with this new Mozilla edition.
You will notice that URLs are now highlighted when using the new Firefox. You may also notice that this fox is slightly faster than the last one. Other than these two additions, there’s not a lot to report about the new Firefox. Then again, you may be interested to know that Mozilla doesn’t want you to think of the new Firefox as “Firefox 6.”
There are a few reasons why Mozilla wants to do away with the numbers name game. The first is that there could be more than thirty different versions of Firefox in one given year (thanks to frequent updates). It would be a little silly to number all of these versions once a certain marker has been passed (Firefox 130 doesn’t have good ring to it). The second reason is that people tend to become fixated on names, even when those names don’t mean anything.
Taking Cues from Google
Firefox was once the browser to beat. Then Google Chrome came along. Mozilla saw its devoted Firefox fans moving towards Chrome, and this caused the company to panic. Instead of trying to invent new features and a new browser, Mozilla has been silently mimicking Chrome. Chrome was, in fact, the first browser to ditch numbers.
If you head to the Chrome website to update your browser, you won’t see “Chrome 35” or any other number. Those who are keeping track may know which version of Chrome Google is currently playing with, but it’s really hard to tell. Instead, you’ll simply be asked to upgrade to the latest version of Chrome, whatever that version may be. This is precisely where Mozilla wants to go.
What’s In a Name?
Not only is Mozilla scrapping names from Firefox upgrades, the company is also paying close attention to Chrome’s new features. It has also been suggested that Mozilla may be looking to other browsers for feature upgrades. What happened to innovation? Where did Mozilla’s gusto go?
Seemingly, the problem with any tech company or manufacturer (I’m lumping Research In Motion into this group) is that it’s easy to fall behind when trying to catch up. Instead of attempting to create a smartphone that looks and acts like the iPhone (Samsung) or trying to create an innovative new browser (Mozilla), these companies are attempting to create the same.
This, as many companies of late have proven, simply isn’t the way to go. Do users love Chrome? You bet. Can Mozilla come up with something even better? Let’s hope so. For now, these constant Firefox upgrades aren’t capturing a lot of attention.