One of the new features coming to Firefox 4 is going to be ‘silent’ updates. That is updates that are automatically downloaded and applied while the browser is running. Google Chrome (which Mozilla seems to be the bases for quite a bit of the new features of Firefox 4) has this as a standard behavior. Because of this though, 97% of Chrome installations are up-to-date, compared to Firefox’s 85% and Safari’s 53%.
Now before the hate comments start pouring in, let me point out a couple things:
- Unlike Chrome, this feature can be turned off. For those users who want to be in control of their Firefox installation they can disable this feature and update the conventional way of going to Help >> Check For Updates..
- This behavior only applies to minor updates. For example an update from Firefox 4.0.0. to 4.0.1 would be done through the ‘Silent’ update process (if enabled). Major updates such as Firefox 4.0.X to 4.5.X would be done through the current update process.
Personally, I like this feature and will likely keep in enabled when I finally move to Firefox 4. Sometimes it takes a couple days for me to update my Firefox as I am working on something when the pop-up appears for the update. I’ll go ahead and download the update but then minimize the pop-up. Since I don’t normally shut-down my system each night, I’ll forget about the update until I happen to see the ‘Software Update’ Window sitting in my taskbar. But even then I may be in the middle of something and don’t really want to take the time to restart the browser and wait for the update to be applied. Also, with the recent scare with the Fake Firefox Update Page silent/automatic updates would a good thing.
Firefox 4 is being built off the new Gecko 2.0 rendering engine and is scheduled for release later this year with a Beta 3 release scheduled for around August 11, 2010.
Source: Download Squad