A little over a month ago we reported Firefox 5 Aurora allowed you to Switch on the fly among Aurora, Beta, and Release versions. On May 26, 2011, Bug 659972 – Remove channel switching UI was filed. Seems this new feature was more trouble than any benefits it would gain. Biggest issue is users would install a Nightly, Aurora or Beta build which once installed would show in the Windows Programs list with the ‘build name’. But, if the user changed the channel they were on, Windows would reflect this. For example say the user installed Aurora 5.0a2 and later switched to the Beta Channel, they would get the updates for the beta channel but in the Windows Program manger it would still be listed as Aurora 5.0a2 instead of Mozilla Firefox 5.0 (Beta).
This feature has been removed from the current Firefox 5 Beta and Firefox 6 Aurora builds. While it is a good move on Mozilla’s part, it is very unusual to see a feature get yanked after it already landed on the Beta channel. Normally for features will get yanked prior to landing on the Beta channel. However, they would also normally be placed on the Aurora channel for the next Firefox release. But in this case it was a matter of completely removing this ‘broken’ feature.