Firefox 4 launch scrubbed until 2011

Mozilla’s still working hard on getting all the kinks out to a huge update to its Firefox web browser, and as such will miss its previously scheduled deployment window of late 2010.

“Completing this work is taking longer than initial estimates indicated as we track down regressions and sources of instability,” wrote Mozilla product manager Mike Beltzner in an official blog post.

Users involved in the Firefox 4 beta process will continue to help with the evolution of the development process through the end of the year, and Mozilla hopes to have it spic and span for the general public early next year.

The browser has been in beta for several weeks and already gone through six different beta releases, but there are reportedly problems integrating some of Firefox’s legacy technologies from the current version.

Firefox is scrambling to retain its status as the major alternative to Internet Explorer, a position that has come into jeopardy with the growth in popularity from Google’s own competing browser, Chrome. The latest numbers put Firefox as having around a 23% market share in browser usage in the US.

It’s always a big process when an Internet browser undergoes a major revision. Hopefully Mozilla will be able to stick to its new “early 2011” release promise.