Mozilla is readying the release of Firefox 12 for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms delivering a number of improvements mostly aimed at developers, but also ushering in a less intrusive update mechanism for users.
Available to download from Mozilla's website sometime on Tuesday, Firefox 12 simplifies the update process for Windows users by avoiding the user account control dialog (UAC) pop-up every time the browser attempts to download and install an updated version of itself.
The reason for this change is that the UAC warnings in Windows Vista and Windows 7 are putting off many users from updating, a Mozilla spokesperson explained in an earlier blog entry.
"The Windows UAC warnings weren't born in a time of frequent software updates. Every time we update Firefox, the UAC system identifies it as a new or modified program and warns you all over again," wrote Johnathan Nightingale, senior director of Firefox Engineering.
"Those warnings work against their own purposes; they scare people away from running the most secure software."
Firefox 12 now uses a system level service to apply updates in a way that does not trigger UAC warnings, according to Mozilla. Once a user gives explicit permission to Firefox on their first installation, they will not be prompted again for subsequent releases.
Other changes are largely focused on developers, such as experimental support for ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects, while users can now download files by pasting URLs directly into the download manager window.
However, some issues still remain to be fixed, with Mozilla warning that using Microsoft's System Restore functionality in Windows shortly after updating Firefox may prevent future updates.
The release of the latest version comes just six weeks after Firefox 11 was released to the general public.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.