Mozilla Sticks With Questionable Decision to Abandon 64-Bit Development

2013-Jan-10 | Tags: firefox

Start64!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.

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