I have become quite a replicator lately, right?
Well, yet another article from an IT journalist/commentator I have to disagree with.
In the article the writer states that it's too difficult to get FF3.6 installed on Ubuntu and that it's reason enough to call GNU/Linux dead on its tracks to get to the mass market. That sounds compelling at first sight.... but
First: I bet the users of software that aren't quite up to date and that make up those huge botnets differ with the writer of the article. They all make up a part of the mass market as we know it, don't they? So it's OK to have outdated* software, isn't it? (I know, I know... it's not OK... but we are talking about mass market here, so go with the flow!).
Second: Remember that the way software is installed/maintained in the GNU/Linux world is completely different from Windows'. In Windows, as the writer said, you grab the software from internet (hopefully form a reliable location.... but we know that's not always the case, is it?), click on it, maybe will have to restart your computer.... a couple times (why the hell installing Adobe Reader requires you to reboot Windows? Is Adobe Reader the equivalent for Windows of glibc or something?) and then finally you are done with the software. In GNU/Linux, at least in Ubuntu (and every other distro that prides itself of being such), you have to wait for the maintainers of Ubuntu to review software to make it available. That's right.... they do that job for you, the user. And it's not just firefox that they maintain... they take care of thousands (literally) pieces of software to make them fit together and not mess with each other when you installed them on your beloved Ubuntu-powered box. And that not only sounds like a dauntin task... it really is. And what would be the equivalent of that in the Windows world? It would be like waiting for Microsoft to review the software when it's made available by its developers (have you seen how long it takes Microsoft to work on their own bugs? How long would it take them if they had to review other people's software as well?) and make it available to you through the centralized software they provided Windows with so that their beloved customers don't have to go leaping from site to site to grab the latest piece of malware-infested piece of software... oh, but there's no such thing for Windows, is there? Such a shame, you know.
So, in other words, FF3.6 is not made available in the stable Ubuntu release because it's going to be a major work to get it merged, but that doesn't mean there is no way to get it packaged so that our dear writer can use it. It didn't take me too long to find unstable/unsupported repos for FF3.6 (probably its stable enough, don't know for sure) for Ubuntu:
I'll personally wait for Ubuntu to make 3.6 available through their standard repositories... which I hope will happen for Jaunty... but maybe they won't and will make it available for lynx only... will have to wait and see.
Just so that it's crystal clear. This article doesn't state that GNU/Linux is ready for the mass market. I'm just stating that the writer-of-the-article's difficulty to install FF3.6 on Ubuntu is not an excuse to dismiss GNU/Linux's readiness for the mass market. Also, I do think GNU/Linux is ready for the mass market, but that's another quite different story.
* FF 3.5 is not outdated, by the way. It will be maintained (at least, security-wise, by the Mozilla foundation for a while).