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Top Mozillans dream of quarterly Firefox OS updates ... and users, too

And telcos pushing out the upgrades

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Mozilla hopes to pump out a new version of its smartphone Firefox OS every three months - and wants to lock mobile networks to this roadmap of updates.

As well as the quarterly upgrades, the non-profit software developer announced security updates to the two trailing versions of the operating system will be produced every six weeks. But Mozilla warned its quarterly cycle for Firefox OS may still “require some tweaking”.

The problem, it seems, could lie with the mobile telcos that Mozilla is dependent upon to flog Firefox-powered smartphones and distribute the updates to punters. It was a big enough deal getting Firefox OS 1.0 out in April in line with the network operators and hardware makers' production cycles.

Mozilla release management manager Alex Kebyl described the quarterly Firefox OS plan as “an incredible undertaking”. Writing in a blog post he said:

We’ve also had to juggle the timelines and requirements of all of the OEMs, carriers, and chipset manufacturers that we’ve partnered with. These new variables lead us to standardize on Gecko 18 for our first two major releases of Firefox OS. It made us “skip a beat”, but for all the right reasons.

Now that we have our v1.0 behind us and we’re moving forward with even more partners, we’re going to do our best to bring Firefox OS back into our heartbeat.”

Mozilla has been keen on frequent updates for years: a new version of the open-source Firefox web browser, at the heart of the new smartphone OS, is shipped roughly once every one and a half months for a myriad systems.

At any one time, Mozilla is working on three desktop pre-release channels alongside the shipping version for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows computers, plus Firefox for Android and the Firefox extended support releases – the two versions supported behind the current one. Now, it has Firefox OS. ®

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