In a recent change of pace Firefox has moved to rolling release over its bi-annual release. This has had an impact on other software releases as well. Most have chosen to include rapid releases with their software updates.
In the case of Ubuntu the move goes a little further ahead as it opts to include rapid release of Firefox on its older releases Ubuntu 10.04 as well as Ubuntu10.10 as well. In fact, users will be able to use the current version Jan 17 onwards.
This announcement was made by Micah Gersten at Canonical, who also pointed out that though users of 10.4LTS and 10.10 received 3.6 update, they could not get new features, new web technologies support, enhance security or enhance the performance. The move to offer rapid release to the both these versions will ensure timely delivery of security updates.
In parallel, repositories for these two versions, will be updated to remain synchronized with the rapid release approach Mozilla has now adopted. The new release pattern follows a Firefox update every six weeks and these will now reach systems through the Ubuntu system for software updation.
Addons that are part of the Ubuntu repository will automatically available with Firefox new releases. However, for those addons derived from other sources will require to be updated manually by users.
Additionally, the browsing experience is likely to undergo subtle changes as each new update is installed.
Canonical announced that Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin will be a Long Term Support release and it will now receive server edition support- that is a total support will be for five years- for desktop edition as well. This is a bonus as Precise Pangolin will be launched in April this year and following the extension receives support as well as maintenance for the desktop version until 2017.
Ubuntu for Corporate Ecosystems
Therefore, it appears a logical step for Canonical to support and maintain Precise Pangolin with Firefox rapid release cycle. The move to extending LTS was itself prompted by the growing demand for Ubuntu desktops on corporate ecosystems. This will in effect allow extensive use of Ubuntu desktops on commercial purposes as well as personal user base on minimal or standard hardware for a full five-year life cycle.
The usual umbrage, especially for corporate users seeking Ubuntu support was the need to adopt more active hardware enhancements to implement all features. Extended support with rapid release updation of Firefox would definitely render Ubuntu more competitive on a hereto non-open source sectors like Corporate IT. The five-year support implies that updates will be offered for two years for new hardware and three years for maintenance updates.
Ubuntu tapping digital consumption
As Canonical’s roadmap for the next few years looks to providing Ubuntu platform devices across digital consumption devices like Tablets, Smartphones and, other media like the just released Ubuntu TV at CES 2012, ensuring enhanced browsing experience remains a top priority along with long-term support and maintenance.
Besides, the move to support rapid release for Ubuntu long release was taken in November last year, since Mozilla intends to end Firefox 3.6 in April this year.