Firefox Quantum Browser Looks To Leapfrog Google Chrome With Breakneck Speed

Nettie James
September 28, 2017

We're super excited to get Firefox Quantum to our beta users and hope you'll give it a try.

Firefox Quantum browser is based on a next-generation engine that is built for modern multi-CPU and GPU based PCs.

Firefox is the latest popular web browser to move against or away from Flash and that's happening with version 56. It is, in fact, taken from its Project Quantum endeavor to speed up Firefox and catch up with the market. But those were just the tip of the iceberg.

We've also improved Firefox so that the tab you're actively using downloads and runs before other tabs you have open in the background.

I've been using Firefox 57 daily since in its very raw "Nightly" version launched a month and a half ago, and I can confirm Mozilla isn't blowing smoke. Chrome has already disabled automatic support for it across all of their platforms and will require the user to enable the permission for individual websites they want to use it on.

While Firefox has historically run mostly on just one CPU core, Firefox Quantum finally takes advantage of multiple CPU cores on desktop and mobile. The result, claimed Nguyen, is a significant speed improvement, because the engine runs in parallel across multiple processor cores.

Mozilla's next major browser update has arrived.

Firefox Quantum spearheads Mozilla's effort to win back users lost to Chrome since Google released it in 2008, and revive its position as a formidable rival in the browser wars as it once was against Internet Explorer in the 2000s. Mozilla argues Firefox Quantum is thus often faster than Chrome, while consuming roughly 30 percent less RAM.

We can see from an older Mozilla slide below that Servo looked quite promising compared to Gecko, the old rendering engine used by Firefox.

According to Mozilla, the new UI comes with support for High DPI displays and better handling on touch-enabled devices. The new UI includes redesigned menus, square tabs, and a new "Library" that includes all of your bookmarks, downloads, history, and so on. When you open a new tab, you'll see now trending web pages recommended by Pocket users so you won't miss out on what's hot online, as well as your top sites. Firefox 57, as it's sequentially known, is such a drastic improvement over its predecessor that Mozilla has christened it Firefox Quantum. For example, the developer edition has received refined, redesigned, and brand new developer tools (more details here). As part of its Project Photon initiative, Mozilla will rid of the ugly curved tab design now seen in Firefox and will able to take advantage of high-resolution screens.

The browser's "autoscrolling" feature now uses asynchronous scrolling, similar to other input methods like mousewheel, providing a smoother scrolling experience. It's available in beta now for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android and iOS, but is expected out on general release on November 14th, so you won't have to wait too long to see the impact Quantum makes on the long-established browser landscape.

Firefox 57's settings will also become searchable, making it easier to configure the browser.

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