Mozilla Stops Developing 64-bit Version Of Firefox For Windows

Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg posted on the official Google Groups page that they will be ending the development of Firefox for 64-bit Windows. He cited the following reasons for this shocking decision.

  • Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions.
  • The plugins that are available don’t work correctly in Firefox because we haven’t implemented things like windowproc hooking, which means that hangs are more common.
  • Crashes submitted by 64-bit users are currently not high priority because we are working on other things.
  • This is frustrating for users because they feel (and are!) second-class.
  • It is also frustrating for stability team triage because crash-stats does not easily distinguish between 32-bit and 64-bit builds  in the topcrash lists and other reports. We basically ignore a set of nightly “topcrashes” because they are 64-bit only. (See bug 811051).

According to Mozilla, about 50% of their nightly testers were 64-bit Firefox users and they are taking risk of losing most of them as Firefox users. Are you using Firefox still?


  • Gladiatorza

    Yes, and nightly, if mozilla ends dev on nightly, i will definitely switch to another browser that offers native x64 compatibility

  • S_A_R_K_I_S

    IE10 FTW ! Wahooo !

  • Blueandgreenmakecyan Tass

    You realise that Windows runs both 32 bit and 64 bit programs right? Most games right now are 32 bit, a browser running 32 bit or 64 bit is going to impact no one, especially not since more and more data is server based because of the cloud.

    • techblogger

      The issue is the plugins for Firefox. Most are not designed to run on anything but a 32bit environment. Much like most apps in the google play app market. Most designed to run single core. They run, just not well.

    • Mitch Hancock

      The limitations of what the browser can do in 32-bit compared to what the OS is capable of in 64-bit is already very real. MacOS currently only runs in 64-bit mode on Mountain Lion and will probably eschew running 32-bit code at all in the next release. Microsoft supports 32-bit right now for backwards compatibility but it has been years since a 32-bit Intel processor has shipped. I would also assume that for Windows 9 32-bit applications will not run.
      Abandoning the future is not a good idea for Mozilla. They really better get on their third-world cell phone, I guess.

  • Peter

    There is always Opera x64

  • davepermen

    the only need for a 64bit browser is the day a SINGLE TAB needs > 4gb ram. When does a single page do that? How long will it take to load those pages? I really dont want to know…….
    Why single tab? Because each is an individual 32bit process.

    • Guest

      “the only need for a 64bit browser is the day a SINGLE TAB needs > 4gb ram.”

      Not exactly.

      • davepermen

        doesn’t change my statement at all. every 32bit process can go up to 4gb in size. every tab is an individual process => ie32bit with 10 tabs can have up to 40gb of ram in use (same for chrome, ff).

        • eddmann

          His point was that the ability to utilize more than 4 GB of memory isn’t the only advantage of a 64-bit browser.

          • davepermen

            but it’s the reason for 64bit. other tiny advantages do exist, but the 4gb limit is the the reason, 64bit got created.

        • Alex F.

          In Firefox all tabs are in the same process – so in fact they would be the biggest beneficiary of 64 bit-ness out of all major browsers…

          • davepermen

            oh crap still by today? guess i’m glad i moved..

  • eddmann

    There are IE9 and IE10 on windows 8, which are currently the only stable, non-beta/alpha 64-bit browsers available.
    IE10 for 7 is on its way too.
    Also, IE10 64-bit has a JIT compiler, so its performance is just as good as the 32-bit version now.

  • Mark

    Stopped using Firefox they day I installed Win7 RC1 and noticed it included both 32 and 64 version of IE.
    As far as im aware, I can ONLY access the 64bit version of IE10 in Win8 64bit (both Metro and desktop version).

    Not a very good long term decision by Morzilla, since Microsoft already stated in 2008 that their next-next version after 7 would be 64bit ONLY (that would be Windows 9). But they could ofc go back on this decision, or atleast include an ARM version.

  • Windows 8

    This is a stupid move, I only use Waterfox x64 coz my addons work in it and IE does not have most of the plugins and addons, for most of my browsing I use IE only.
    FF guys are waiting to loose the battle where Chrome is already winning and IE10 will bash them to no end.

  • Will Tisdale

    This is probably in response to the version number masturbation which Mozilla have taken upon themselves to do to copy Google. They need to develop some sanity and stop it, because it’s just a waste of resources.

    It’s a shame about 64 bit support though, it wasn’t that long ago when they said that they would actually be releasing a 64 bit version outside of the trunk builds, who knows what happened to that…

  • Link68759

    Omfg do those idiots realize that, as a major browser, the fact that they are dropping support for it IS ONLY GOING TO COMPOUND THE SITUATION? We need to move to x64 eventually and the god damned solution is to encourage devs to support it, not drop it because people who *choose* to use it have a smaller pool of plugins. Mozilla NEVER even supported x64 in the first place! You had to know what the hell you were doing and what to search for to get the x64 build- it doesn’t make sense to just stop because “they’re second class citizens”. THEY CHOSE THAT LIFE, FOR THE PERFORMANCE BENEFITS. Now no one is EVER going to fucking support x64. Congrats Mozilla, you just set back technology.
    Good thing Palemoon officially does x64. Screw Mozilla.

  • Schooner1984

    Bummer. I use FireFox because Ad-Block Plus is the only consistently reliable ad-blocker I have used. I do have Safari from a previous download of iTunes, maybe Opera will work. Change happens.

    • Agrippa

      If Firefox has it, Chrome has it. I abandoned Firefox for Chrome a few years ago.

  • Bruce

    I’m a Firefox user and there’s very little keeping me from switching to a different browser. It’s no surprise Firefox is losing market share.

  • grs_dev

    FF has been my fallback browser for those idiotic sites that discriminate against IE for no good reason. It’s sad that a group like Mozilla would take such a stance…