This is good news: Mozilla will be working more closely with various Linux distributors including Red Hat, Novell, Ubuntu, and yes, even Debian, to coordinate Firefox updates, configuration, etc.
There are two main issues: making Mozilla’s Firefox installer work everywhere (it mostly does, but on some systems you need to install some compatibility libraries first), and keeping the distributions’ versions in sync with the official one.
After the Debian IceWeasel debacle, and Fedora deciding to skip Firefox 2 and wait for Firefox 3, it’s good to know that Mozilla has recognized the problem and is working on it. One key piece of information: Red Hat and Novell will both be providing extended support for Firefox 1.5 past its official EOL next April.
Something that could help with the ever-shrinking window between turning on a new (Windows) computer and getting hacked by some automatic probe is to just make downloading security updates part of the setup process. I installed two Linux distributions this weekend, Mandrake 10.1 and SuSE 9.2, and both did this.
What I liked about the SuSE installer was the way the option was worded. The setup utility asks you if you want to “test your Internet connection.” It tests the connection by downloading the latest release notes and checking for updates! (Unfortunately, it somehow chose an old mirror of the SuSE site—not the one I used during the installation—and the process failed.)