Mozilla sets end of Firefox for OS X Leopard
Will cease upgrades after October's Firefox 16
Computerworld - Mozilla will drop support for Apple's OS X 10.5, or Leopard, after it ships Firefox 16 in October, according to company developers.
"We are not planning to support Mac OS X 10.5 with Firefox 17," said Josh Aas, who works on the Firefox platform group, in a message last month on Bugzilla. "The builds will fail to run on anything less than Mac OS X 10.6."
OS X 10.6 is Snow Leopard, the 2009 follow-up to Leopard, which shipped in October 2007.
By Mozilla's release calendar, Firefox 16 is to debut Oct. 9. Firefox 17, the first that will not to pushed to Leopard users, is slated for a Nov. 20 launch.
Although Mozilla talked about ditching OS X 10.5 support in December 2011, it decided then to keep Apple's OS on the list. Discussions among engineers, managers and contributors restarted in late June.
According to Mozilla, Leopard's importance is diminishing. "Mac OS X 10.5 users have been declining by 1% per month, as a share of our total Mac OS X users," said Aas. "This, combined with the impact of the release of Mac OS X 10.8 [Mountain Lion], means that Mac OS X 10.5 users will likely make up around 10% of Mac OS X users when Firefox 17 ships."
As of June 21, 17% of Firefox 13's Mac users were running Leopard, with larger shares on Snow Leopard (35%) and Lion (48%), Aas said. Only 4.6% of all Firefox 13 users were running it on a Mac.
Like Google, another reason Mozilla cited for dumping Leopard was that Apple has also ended support.
The last time Apple patched bugs in Leopard was November 2011, and its most recent security update, in May 2012, disabled older copies of Flash Player to stymie Flashback rather than fix specific security flaws. Nor has Apple maintained Safari on OS X 10.5. The final update was issued over a year ago.
And finally, said Aas, Mozilla can handle only so much.
"Apple releases new versions of its operating systems relatively quickly, and each new version contains significant changes that we must adapt to," Aas said. "This requires resources, and with limited resources this sometimes means we have to make tough decisions about where to invest."
In a blog post last week, Brian Bondy, a Firefox platform engineer who has been working on a "Metro" version for Windows 8, said that the browser has "progressed steadily," adding that Mozilla's goal is to ship a preview by the end of next month.
"This preview will include primary browser UI for navigation and tabs, and will be delivered as a combined classic + Metro browser," said Bondy. "I believe there is a Q4 goal for a beta release as well."
Windows 8, which is available now to some Microsoft customers, hits retail on Oct. 26.
Mozilla was the first Microsoft rival to announce it would create a combination desktop and Metro-style browser to compete with Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) on Windows 8.
Google later joined the race, and in June beat Mozilla to the preview punch by releasing an in-progress browser that runs in the Metro user interface (UI).
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
- Google reverses field, promises to restore Chrome's scrollbar arrows
- Update: Google ships Chrome 33, patches 28 bugs
- Mozilla's top exec defends in-Firefox ads, revenue search
- Mozilla taps in-Firefox ads as it searches for more revenue
- Mozilla ships Metro Firefox beta for Windows 8
- Mozilla defers Firefox's new 'Australis' UI to April
- Mozilla resets Metro Firefox ship date to mid-March
- Mozilla ships Firefox 26 with opening click-to-play move
- Mozilla banked $274M in '12 from Google-Firefox search deal
- Google trumpets Chrome's SPDY gains
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Riverbed Stingray Application Firewall: Securing Cloud Applications with a Distributed Web Application Firewall Responsibility over IT security is moving away from the network and IT infrastructure and to the application and software architecture itself. IT organizations...
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts