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Why do I have to keep updating Firefox when I can’t see any difference?

I diligently upgrade when Firefox brings out its latest version. From the
point of view of an ordinary PC user, I’ve been unable to detect any
significant difference from version 7 and earlier to the new 11. Is there
anything? And is it worth upgrading for other than perhaps security/loophole
updates?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #11
, I look at reasons to keep your web browser updated and
discuss the security implications of getting out-of-date.

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Are there upgrade changes?

The short answer is, “There’s other stuff.”

It’s certainly not that important… if you’re not noticing it. It’s not
something that you’re going to care about. But…

Security is number one

The way you’ve worded the question, you’re kind of minimizing the whole
“security/loophole updates,” as you call it.

I believe, strongly, that when it comes to web browsers (particularly when
it comes to web browsers as popular as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and
any of several others), even if nothing visibly changes, it is critical, it is
important to keep updating to the latest version.

Keep that version as up-to-date as the provider will let you.

Security is ongoing

Those security/loophole updates are coming in all the time. They are
protecting you from malware that’s being written all the time… which take
advantage of the very vulnerabilities that those patches are fixing.

By not staying up-to-date, by sticking with an older version of one of these
utilities, you’re actually running the risk that you could be the victim of
malware that targets a vulnerability that you have elected not to fix.

So, stay up-to-date even if nothing visibly changes. It’s fine, it’s solid,
it’s a good approach to keeping your computer safe.

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5 comments on “Why do I have to keep updating Firefox when I can’t see any difference?”

  1. There are also various back in changes going on. Various CSS items have been improved or implemented. Various little items have also made Firefox faster. The interface just hasn’t changed much since 4.

    Reply
  2. One of the most irritating issues with the all-too-frequent Firefox updates—apart from the nag screen—is that the authors of several 3rd-party add-ons I use often don’t keep up with these changes, and their add-ons become incompatible with the newer Firefox version.

    I’m still using Firefox v7, and haven’t experienced any malware and/or security issues at all. I also trialled Firefox v10 with not the slightest increase in performance.

    I’m really beginning to think that—like all product marketers—the folks at Firefox simply follow the “change for change’s sake” mantra in order to maintain their product’s continued use by current and long term users, and to attract a new user base by allegedly upgrading their product in a meaningful way.

    In other words, if Firefox (or any software product for that matter) is not “seen” to be upgraded—along with their competitors—then many people will perceive it as “falling behind” in the useability or effectiveness stakes.

    Call me a cynic, but exactly the same practice occurs with new models of motor vehicles. Often, the “new” model simply has different headlights and grille, or new alloy wheels or chrome trim. Same car under its skin though.

    Reply
  3. Why can’t the programmers at Firefox simply provide security updates for let’s say version 11 so that we will not be forced to upgrade to a new version. I am running Windows XP Home SP3 with IE8. Microsoft provides security updates for IE8 from time to time. Why can’t the programmers at Firefox do the same? Inquiring minds want to know!
    Mike 🙂

    Reply

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