Mozilla Finally Introduced 64-Bit Firefox for Windows

Mozilla Finally Introduced 64-Bit Firefox for Windows

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Mozilla has finally introduced a 64-bit Firefox version for Windows with the recent release of Firefox 43. There were already 64-bit Firefox versions for Mac and Linux. Windows users, however, were left with 32-bit Firefox like a bunch of suckers.

Users running Windows 7 and up can download and install 64-bit Firefox. It’s not clear if Mozilla’s Firefox site is set-up to auto-detect a 64-bit Windows system. For now, it’s easier to grab the new version from the all downloads page. Just scroll towards the bottom until you find “English (US)” and click the Windows 64 icon. If you’re running Firefox 42 and do an in-place upgrade to version 43 you’ll remain on the 32-bit version.

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“Today we are releasing Firefox 64-bit for Windows to offer gains in performance for users with 64-bit systems. We’re pleased to offer it to users of Windows 7 and above looking for added performance for applications and games,”  —  Mozilla announced in a company blog post on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Why 64-Bit Firefox for Windows So Special

The addition of a 64-bit Firefox for Windows is important because it will now allow users to run larger applications with increased security and way faster execution. While a 32-bit version of the browser can get a maximum of 4 GB of address space, a 64-bit version makes everything smoother. Web apps are increasingly becoming bigger and 4 GB of address space doesn’t suffice at all times anymore, but the 64-bit version should fix the problem.Browser-based games should now run a lot faster and smoother, as 64-bit support will better handle their high-quality assets and gameplay.

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When it comes to execution, the 64-bit Firefox 43 can be much faster because it’s now able to access new instructions and registers, notably accelerating JavaScript code. At the same time, the larger address space enables Firefox to tap hardware memory protection, while also making address space layout randomization (ASLR) more effective. In turn, this helps prevent malicious content found online from exploiting the browser.

On the other hand, Mozilla reckons that the new 64-bit Firefox for Windows currently has limited plugin support, which means that some sites requiring plugins may work on the 32-bit version of the browser, but not in the 64-bit one.

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Nevertheless, the company reiterated its plans to ditch support for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash by the end of 2016.

Lastly, Mozilla also crushed some nasty vulnerabilities with the new 64-bit Firefox 43 for Windows. Four of them were deemed critical, while seven were considered serious. The company listed the security bugs after various researchers reported on them. For a complete list of changes, check out the release notes.

Firefox users should get the upgrade automatically, but Firefox 43 is also available for download from Mozilla’s Firefox website. The Android version, meanwhile, is available on Google Play.

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So what do you think about 64-bit Firefox version for Windows?