Mozilla looks to challenge Chrome with Firefox Quantum

New Firefox Beta Released With New User Interface, New Core Engine

New Firefox Beta Released With New User Interface, New Core Engine

Ahead of Firefox Quantum's release, Mozilla's developers have removed 468 bugs that may have impeded the browser's new speed capabilities.

Mozilla says that the latest version of its open source Firefox browser is twice as fast as its predecessors.

Mozilla's comeback in the browser wars may be a long shot amid the dominance of Google and Chrome, but there are good reasons to hope the organization is successful.

Firefox Quantum in comparison with last year's 52nd version of Firefox shows a two-fold increase in performance on all fronts. Some of the fruits of this project have already made its way to users, such as the use of multiple CPU cores, the use of the WebAssembly language, and support for WebVR.

Mozilla has also tweaked Firefox to give priority to the tab you're actively using.

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Mozilla attributes the speed boosts in Firefox 57 to previous features it added past year, such as support for multiple processes, which has allowed to split processes across all cores and cut down on RAM use by 30%.

The beta of Firefox 57 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS and Linux from Mozilla's website, but it cannot be run alongside the production-grade edition familiar to most users.

At the time of writing, there are only 4,609 Firefox add-ons marked as supporting Firefox 57 on the Mozilla Add-ons portal from a total of almost 19,000.

Firefox has historically run mostly on just one CPU core, but Firefox Quantum takes advantage of multiple CPU cores in today's desktop and mobile devices much more effectively.

"In addition, for the past several months we've run a browser-wide initiative to zap any instances of slowness you might encounter while using Firefox" said Nguyen.

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The new name signals Firefox 57 is a huge release that incorporates the company's plans to build a next-generation browser engine (Project Quantum) that takes full advantage of modern hardware. The design (seen above) certainly looks and feels much more modern than Firefox's current look. For example, if you're using a Windows PC with a touch display, Firefox menus will change size based on whether you click with a mouse or tap with your finger.

The new, minimalist design introduces square tabs, smooth animations, and a Library, which provides quick access to your saved stuff: bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads, tabs, and screenshots. Earlier this year, Mozilla removed the Aurora Firefox release channel and acquired content-saving read-it-later app Pocket.

Firefox is also getting a visual makeover.

The plumbing isn't the only thing that will be changing in Firefox 57.

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