Firefox and Thunderbird updates with user rights
Firefox needs only access to it's program directory - registry keys in HKLM can be left as they are. Thus, on a windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 system you just need to add directory modify permissions for the users group.
cacls "Mozilla Firefox" /e /t /g users:c
After this, when Firefox notices a new version available, it will ask the user to update now or later. When updating, the new install package will be downloaded and installed over the previous version.
As a side benefit, users can also install Firefox plugins after this procedure. The major benefit is less work for the system administrators that don't have to deploy the latest versions as they arrive, while keeping actively used systems secure.
The directory permission modification should be preferably done during initial install.
"Firefox Setup 3.5.5" -ms
cacls "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Firefox" /e /t /g users:c
If not, it can be done for example via a shutdown script that runs with system priviledges.
REM Firefox ja Thunderbird updatable with user rights 2007-06-18 - JoniN/CSC
REM Gets run only if the directory doesn't already have users:change permission
%SystemRoot%\system32\cacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Firefox" | %SystemRoot%\system32\qgrep -z \Users:C
if ERRORLEVEL==1 IF EXIST "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Firefox" %SystemRoot%\system32\cacls "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Firefox" /E /T /G USERS:C
%SystemRoot%\system32\cacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Thunderbird" | %SystemRoot%\system32\qgrep -z \Users:C
if ERRORLEVEL==1 IF EXIST "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Thunderbird" %SystemRoot%\system32\cacls "%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Thunderbird" /E /T /G USERS:C
The utility qgrep can be copied to a folder of choice, here being %SystemRoot%\system32. It's a part of Windows resource kit 2003 package, which can be obtained here:
Good reasons to use Firefox: standards compliant, ensuring of website operability with linux and mobile users, memory-efficient, extendable.
Good reasons to use Thunderbird: standards compliant, shows relevant info about email (including full headers when necessary). Ability to search and sort mail with wide criteria (header, body, subject, folder etc. search). Configurable for multiple accounts like Gmail / Aim mail. Transfer of mail to mailbox-backup files in local folders or between accounts. RSS reader and Usenet news client.