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Mozilla upgrades Firefox: More processes, please!

Gregg Keizer | June 19, 2017
Firefox 54 ups tab content processes to four as company officials claim it's like Goldilocks' porridge ... just right.

While e10s has been a focus of Mozilla engineers for two years, the project also illustrated how far Firefox had fallen behind other browsers, notably Chrome but even, in areas, Edge. Mozilla has suffered several massive defeats in recent years, including a drubbing over mobile operating systems and a lesser beating from a stab at in-browser advertising. Lately, it has rededicated itself to Firefox, but the jury remains undecided, with some, including a former CTO, maintaining that the browser has no chance of unseating Chrome.

Last month, Firefox accounted for 12% of all browsers used worldwide, about a fifth of the share owned by Chrome and half that of a combined Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge. That May number was the highest of the year so far, but it was also nearly identical to Firefox's share of 24 months earlier, showing how mired the browser had become.

End users and IT administrators can download Firefox 54 for Windows, Mac and Linux from Mozilla's website. Existing users' browsers will be automatically upgraded.

Firefox architecture 
Mozilla argued that its model for Firefox -- use fewer processes to render tab content -- not only means a smaller RAM footprint than Chrome's, but is the smarter approach. Credit: Mozilla


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