Mozilla has worked on silent updating on and off for months. Originally slated to ship with Firefox 4, the feature was pulled from that version last fall. It must now make it into Firefox 5 in order for the rapid roll-out of Firefox 6, 7 and beyond to work smoothly.
Since final Firefox releases will not be held for any single feature, it's impossible ahead of time to know what each version will contain. But Mozilla has posted a long wish list of enhancements and additions that range from a near-term identity manager to a long-range goal of bundling Flash with Firefox.
Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, has praised Mozilla's more frequent release plans for Firefox, which he saw as a reaction to Chrome's rapid schedule.
"Chrome's development model has been a successful experiment in terms of getting production releases with improvements and new features out quickly and much faster than in the past," Hilwa said last month. "I think this is causing waves in the industry, most specifically for direct competitors."
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