Nearly a decade after the idea was first floated around, Mozilla is finally releasing an official 64bit version of their popular browser. This confirms earlier speculation that the new flavour of the Firefox was going to drop soon. It’s also about 9 months since the first beta version of 64bit debuted and after various forks have already moved to 64bit. With this move, Mozilla brings their browser a bit closer to rival Chrome which had its first 64bit version released back in 2014.
While 64bit support us undoubtedly the biggest feature to come with Version 43, the new version does come with a big drawback. As part of the transition from the supposedly insecure and unstable NPAPI, 64bit Firefox won’t support any plug-ins just yet. Silverlight and ironically, Flash are still supported for now. Even with all the problems with Flash, Mozilla still knows Flash is needed everywhere for now.
This release marks the end of cycle of cancelled and rebooted attempts to get 64bit support. With this, the next major change will be the release of Electrolysis, where it will adapt the multi-process nature that Chrome has been using for ages. Whether or not this will be enough for the browser to shore up flagging usage remains to be seen.