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Decision leaves Opera and Microsoft with the only 64-bit browsers, though Google will soon join the pack

Fans of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation have waited... and waited... and waited more still, for Mozilla's popular Firefox browser to add 64-bit support.  With pickup of 64-bit SKUs of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows operating system rapidly accelerating, it certainly seemed a 64-bit browser would be just around the corner.

Instead Mozilla has made the curious decision to pull the plug on the long-delayed project, while offering only small clues as to why the decision was made.

The announcement was posted by Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg on the Bugzilla development page.  He ordered Mozilla employees and community developers:

Please stop building windows 64 builds and tests.

As for why the he opted to pull the plug on 64-bit for now, he comments, "Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions.  The plugins that are available don’t work correctly in Firefox because we haven’t implemented things like windowproc hooking, which means that hangs are more common."

Firefox laptop
Firefox 64-bit development is dead for now. [Image Source: Flickr/dimnikolov]

Mozilla may soon find itself in lonely territory.

With Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL) Java and Adobe Systems Inc.'s (ADBE) Flash now supporting 64-bit Windows plug-ins, both Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 and Opera Software ASA (OSE:OPERA) have made the leap to 64-bit.  Meanwhile Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Chrome, one of the most popular browsers due to its clean UI and strong GPU acceleration, has added 64-bit support in Linux and is in the process of porting its changes to Windows.

In other words, soon Mozilla may be the only browser maker without a 64-bit browser.

Of course, Windows compatibility libraries ensure 32-bit applications (like Firefox) can still run on 64-bit Windows.  But there is a small performance penalty associated.

For that reason one has to wonder whether Mozilla might come to regret its decision to halt development, even if it is only a temporary one.

Source: Bugzilla

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RE: No big deal, 64-bit browsers are useless
By Cypherdude1 on 11/26/2012 2:47:06 AM , Rating: 3
I think it's better that Mozilla, for now, concentrate on their current 32-bit FireFox browser. I have Win7-64 Pro and 16 GB RAM. I use both IE9 32 bit and FireFox. While I use FireFox for most purposes and I like it better, FF has numerous bugs. Yes, I do like FF better. However, sometimes it can be really irritating. Everyday it seems I come across another bug. Here's one which I just came across tonight. Open this link, then click on the "Basic Essentials, Sterling Denim Jacket" picture on the right side:

You will see that FF does nothing. However, if you drag and drop the link in the picture to any FF tab it will open. Open the same URL above in IE9, do the same thing and you'll see IE9 works correctly.

On your secondary monitor with FF, go to , simply place your cursor over the Corel menu/submenus. You'll see they open to the left side and you can't see the submenus. In IE9, open the same URL in the same secondary monitor and they work correctly. It's irritating to have to switch to IE9 just to see the Corel products in their menu tables.

Also, in the secondary monitor, there is the blank frame problem when Tools > Options > Advanced > Hardware Acceleration is enabled in FireFox.

I have already notified Mozilla about the blank frames problem several times through their Help > Submit Feedback feature but they have not fixed it. They keep updating their S/W. I am currently using FF 16.0.2. Every time I upgrade I hope at least the blank frames problem will be fixed but it's not. FF is now at v17 but I don't expect it to be fixed either.

It appears Mozilla is overloaded with their 32 bit browser so perhaps it's best they concentrate on it and not allocate any resources to a 64 bit browser.

By TheJian on 11/26/2012 11:34:29 PM , Rating: 1
If a page is DESIGNED to run on IE you'll see that. I get the same thing on some MCP sites. I have to use IE to use the pages because MS hates the fact you might come to their site in Firefox etc and so they program their pages to NOT work in anything but their own IE.

It's not firefox's job to be compatible with that site. Write that site and tell them to be compatible with WEB STANDARDS rather than programming purposely to piss off Firefox. You're blaming the wrong people.

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