Mozilla has said users of Firefox 1.5 should plan to upgrade their browser by 24 April next year at the very latest.
That's when developers plan to stop issuing security and stability fixes for the open-source browser, according to a note posted on the Mozilla.com website.
This notice was included in an alert advertising the latest upgrade to Mozilla 1.5. Released on Tuesday, the 188.8.131.52 update includes three critical security fixes for the browser. Firefox users should already have begun receiving the software through the browser's automatic update process.
Version 184.108.40.206 also includes new software that will eventually allow Mozilla to push out version 2.0 of the browser automatically. The earlier Firefox 1.5 also includes an automatic updater, but this does not allow users to decline software upgrades. Mozilla has decided to add this capability in the 220.127.116.11 patch before offering the Firefox 2.0 as an automatic update.
Firefox representatives could not say when they planned to begin pushing version 2.0 as an automatic update.
Mozilla developers are now beginning discussions on what to include in the Firefox 3.0 browser, which they hope to release one year from now, according to Firefox plans.