In a move that will not affect 99 percent of users, but will greatly please a small minority of its user base, Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg reversed his controversial decision to kill availability of 64-bit builds of the Firefox browser.
But the move was a half-hearted one, as Mozilla still is sticking to the party line: Its 64-bit development for Windows is over, for now.
The November suspension was justified by a list of complaints raised -- some of them valid, others not so much. The biggest complaint Smedberg voiced was that moving Firefox to 64-bit builds simply wasn’t that high a priority to most of its users. That’s technically correct. Only users who demand hundreds of tabs open at once need to go beyond the 2GB memory envelope of 32-bit Firefox without crashes. Most users will never hit that limitation.
But some will. Microsoft and Opera already have 64-bit browsers. Apple and Google are actively working on 64-bit browsers. Clearly demand for this improvement is small, but not non-existent.