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Mozilla backtracks on 64-bit Windows

by on24 December 2012

It will do after all

Last month Mozilla miffed users when it said it could not be bothered making a 64-bit version of its browser for Windows.

Given that most of the world is moving to 64-bit, the news from Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg was due to “significant negative feedback.” Now he has decided that while Firefox 64-bit for Windows may still never be released, but nightly builds will live another day.

The main reason for the change of plans appears to be that certain users regularly run into the 4GB memory limits of 32-bit builds due to hundreds or even thousands of tabs. Smedberg says Mozilla “does not have the resources to actively support this use case” but he warned that these platforms may or may not work at any time, and often have little test coverage.”

More than half of Firefox testers use the 64-bit builds, but many aren’t doing it to be part of the testing community. Those who want 64-bit can switch to OS X or Linux, both of which have full versions of Firefox 64-bit. Windows 64-bit users meanwhile can only consider Internet Explorer and Opera, since both Chrome and Safari don’t offer 64-bit.

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