Former Mozilla staffer Jono DiCarlo published a lengthy post on his blog that blasts Firefox' rapid release cycle, claiming everybody hates it and that it killed Firefox' reputation. DiCarlo explains people dislike the number of dialog boxes and prompts that appear when an update is required, and that updates frequently break extensions. Google's Chrome browser on the other hand receives praise from DiCarlo, he believes Chrome has a much simpler, no-fuss update process that works like a charm.
The importance of updates bringing security updates, bug fixes and critical features is acknowledged by DiCarlo, but he laments the use of frequent updates to change the interface for no reason. By changing the interface every update, "your productivity will be lower than usual until you've spent a bunch of time learning a new interface"; time better spent on other things.
Mozilla is working to address some of these issues - Firefox 15 will bring background, dialog-box-free updates like Chrome - but according to DiCarlo the damage has already been done: "People who got fed up and ditched Firefox are going to be hard to win back."
Mozilla send out the following response to DiCarlo's complaints:
Jono's analysis is interesting, but outdated. Regular Firefox updates are good news for users and for the Web but only when they don't interrupt what you're doing. Today's Firefox updates are applied in the background with no interruptions; they even keep your Firefox Add-ons compatible between releases. The result is that our users always have a fast, beautiful and secure browsing experience. Regular releases also let us get new features to our users faster than ever before, and we can listen to their feedback to improve things, just as we did with updates in 2011.