Mozilla has extended support for its 17 month old Firefox 1.5.0.x browser until mid-May, citing the need to roll out a patch that will automatically update users to the newer Version 2.0 before it pulls the support plug.
Even that date looks unlikely, however, according to information posted to Mozilla development wikis.
The company had earlier said that yesterday would be the termination date for Firefox 1.5.x support - meaning it would issue no new security updates after that. But when it released Version 1.5.11 last month, Mozilla hinted that the final security fix would not make that deadline.
This week developers decided to delay that last update, Firefox 220.127.116.11, because of a higher than expected number of bugs awaiting attention.
Only after 18.104.22.168 appears will Mozilla tackle what it is been calling Major Updates, an automated upgrade from 1.5.0.x to 2.0.0.x. Initial testing of the upgrade, which will update all Firefox 1.5.0.x users who have the browser's auto-updating tool turned on, has been completed. But Mozilla will wait until after 22.214.171.124 is out before dealing with that upgrade.
"Major Updates will [not] likely be pushed out after [126.96.36.199] ships," according Mozilla. "We'll gather to discuss why and how we will get there."
According to the most recent schedule on its web site, Mozilla had pegged 15 May as the release date for 188.8.131.52 (and a similar security update that brings the newest version to 184.108.40.206). With the delay announced this week, however, that deadline is at risk. A note on Mozilla's schedule stated, "Will likely be pushed out, at least by a week."
Mozilla has committed to supporting older software for only six months after the release of a major update. The policy affects not only Firefox, but also the Thunderbird email client, which recently shifted to Version 2.0.