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3.0 x86 Official (blue) vs 3.1alpha2 x64 (red) (w/ jemalloc), shorter is better   (Source: Mozilla wiki)

Windows Vista x64 jemalloc enabled or disabled (32-bit in blue, 64-bit in red, shorter is better).  (Source: Mozilla wiki)
Will Mozilla catch up with Internet Explorer?

Mozilla's Firefox browser does not lead Microsoft's Internet Explorer in market share, but it does lead in other ways.  The new 3.5 version of Firefox introduced last week offers support for the latest standards, including HTML 5, XHTML, and SVG graphics -- all of which stock installs of Internet Explorer 8 do not support.

However, Mozilla does trail Internet Explorer 8 in one respect -- Mozilla has not offered an official 64-bit version of its software.  One developer is working to catch Mozilla up, though.  Since 2008 a contributor who goes by the screen name Makoto has ported Firefox 3.0, and now 3.5 to 64-bit editions.  He has announced recently that he plans to contribute the 64-bit versions for 3.6 and up, which may mean that Firefox will at last get an official 64-bit build.

Advantages of the transition to 64-bit include faster speeds on pages using encryption, fast-call type function calls, and more efficient memory mapping of large files.  Initial benchmarks from the 64-bit build show impressive gains in certain applications.

A notable downside of the patch for Firefox 3.5 is that it breaks Mozilla's plug-in system, which relies on a 32-bit architecture.  However, Mozilla has talked recently of adding official 64-bit support in the near future, so this will likely be addressed shortly.

Google's Chrome also is not offered in 64-bit versions.  Apple's Safari 4 browser is offered in a 64-bit version (and is the first Safari browser to add official 64-bit support).  Opera is offered in 64-bit for Linux and OpenBSD operating systems, but is only offered in 32-bit form for Windows.  Within about 4-5 years all of these are expected to jump to 64-bit as the next version of Windows (after Windows 7) is expected to only be offered in 64-bit form, though legacy support for 32-bit software will almost surely be included.

Anyone who wants to take 64-bit Firefox 3.5 out for a spin is suggested to back up their profile, as the build will use the same profile as your current installation.  It should also be noted that the build only works with 64-bit operating systems such as those based on the Windows x64 platform, like the 64-bit build of Windows 7 Release Candidate.

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64-bit Flash
By AlexWade on 7/6/2009 10:37:02 AM , Rating: 5
Hello Adobe! Where is my 64-bit Flash!

RE: 64-bit Flash
By Motoman on 7/6/2009 10:39:59 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. 64-bit IE is close to useless because all the bits you want to go with it, like Flash, don't exist yet. It can't be used.

So Mozilla, Opera, hurry with that 64-bit browser. Seems like there aren't many sites that *don't* have flash content these days...

RE: 64-bit Flash
By kattanna on 7/6/2009 10:51:21 AM , Rating: 3
while i applaud them for moving to 64bit apps, without the plug ins that make the browser what it is, its a moot point.

RE: 64-bit Flash
By osalcido on 7/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: 64-bit Flash
By Motoman on 7/6/2009 11:22:24 AM , Rating: 3
...what? I made no such distinction. 3rd party developers, in this case Adobe, aren't making the plugins period. How did you come up with your statement based on mine?

RE: 64-bit Flash
By 16nm on 7/6/2009 3:47:20 PM , Rating: 3
Wait a second. Would no flash be a good thing or a bad?

RE: 64-bit Flash
By mmntech on 7/6/2009 10:49:26 AM , Rating: 3
Why, Adobe can make Flash run on any system you want! ... provided it's 32-bit Windows. How long has 64-bit IE been out now? Granted most web content won't ever use more than 4gb of RAM in the foreseeable future but with all computers moving towards 64-bit anyway, it just makes sense.

RE: 64-bit Flash
By chick0n on 7/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: 64-bit Flash
By 67STANG on 7/6/2009 3:31:59 PM , Rating: 3
Funny you say that, because I've used CS since it came out and it's much more solid than their previous versions, IMHO. CS4 does take some getting used to, however... but at least they have 64-bit Photoshop, which loves my 8GB of RAM.

RE: 64-bit Flash
By chick0n on 7/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: 64-bit Flash
By axias41 on 7/6/2009 10:54:22 AM , Rating: 3
One of the reasons for not using Flash for just build a web site, you become too Adobe dependent

RE: 64-bit Flash
By defter on 7/6/2009 11:59:27 AM , Rating: 1
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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