Mozilla Foundation releases 2012 roadmap for Firefox

By Patrick Lambert March 15, 2012

Last year, the Mozilla Foundation – one of the web’s most popular browsers – upped their game by switching to a much faster release cycle, with a new version of Firefox every 6 weeks or so, while maintaining a slower pace for enterprises.

The company released a roadmap that year which showed impressive improvements. That roadmap has just been updated to show what we can expect in 2012 for upcoming Firefox versions, featuring several new items pending for versions 12 to 15.

Some of the most interesting additions:

Older add-ons default to each new edition, so that anything from version 4 and above is now compatible. The Firefox Sync feature can also sync add-ons along with bookmarks and account information.

Meanwhile, Firefox 12 is progressing through its beta phase, and is due by the end of April. One expected feature is an update to the media controls for HTML5 web pages, which should make playing video and audio more intuitive. A security dialog will also be updated, along with the usual bug fixes.

Firefox 13 has an early summer release date, and will include even more features, such as a widget letting Firefox update itself, instead of interrupting user activity.

Longer term, Firefox will pursue a tab page – similar to Google Chrome – that shows all opened tabs in a single page. A new function called Firefox Share will also allow users to share any web page to any social network directly from the browser, and an integrated translation service will allow any web page to be translated with a click of a button.

Finally, Mozilla plans to add an inherent PDF viewer that will facilitate online document viewing without an external program.

There's no question Firefox's market share has been declining lately, mostly due to the rise of Chrome. But it still holds an impressive amount of users. Thanks to the new update schedule, along with many brand new features, Mozilla hopes to keep their browser a web contender for years to come.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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