Print 66 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Nov 29 at 3:31 AM

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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

it's cute
By Argon18 on 11/26/2012 11:53:17 AM , Rating: 2
How Windows is still going through these 64-bit teething problems. Like the slow kid, Windows is years behing the rest of the class. UNIX and even Linux had production 64-bit OS's back in the mid 1990's. I know, I used to be a UNIX admin in the late 90's of a farm of DEC Alphas. And Apple OSX went full 64-bit back in 2007.

Like remember when Pentium Pro came out, and all other OS's were fully 32 bit, while Windows was still 16-bit (with a few silly 32 bit extensions). Why is Windows always so far behind the times?

Linux at least you can install all the 32-bit libraries on a 64-bit system, and seamlessly run 32-bit apps, plugins, whatever on a 64-bit OS. OSX is the same, 32 bit apps run seamlessly on 64-bit OS, no tweaking, no dicking around. Why can't Windows do this???

RE: it's cute
By PsychoPif on 11/27/2012 11:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
How is FF dumping 64 bit in any way a problem with Windows when every other browsers have 64 bit version?

RE: it's cute
By Argon18 on 11/27/2012 1:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
Because FF is dumping 64 bit Windows specifically because of the technical problems of dealing with 64 bit Windows. It's all in the article.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki