Mozilla released a test version of its upcoming Firefox Quantum web browser this week in preparation for its upcoming official debut in November. The test version is intended for developers to use so they can let Mozilla know if there are any bugs or security holes prior to its public release.
Although Firefox was one of the fastest growing Internet browsers during the late 2000’s, its U.S. market share has waned over the years as Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers gained users.
According to StatCounter numbers, the last half-decade hasn’t been great for Firefox market share. Chrome first overtook Mozilla’s browser back in late-2011 and now hovers above 60-percent. But after a fair amount of struggles, Mozilla’s been undergoing an interesting sort of renaissance of late, and is banking on its new Quantum browser to bring bygone users back into the Firefox fold.
Mozilla is pitching its upcoming Firefox Quantum browser as its fastest yet, surpassing that of Chrome while using less computer resources. Of course, the browser isn’t yet available to consumers, so there’s no third-party data to substantiate Mozilla’s claims.
After two months of beta testing, the 57th version of the browser drops today for public consumption, belying the slow moving condiment that shares its build number.
According to the foundation’s numbers, the latest build users 30-percent less memory than the competition when running on a Windows System.
According to sources, it’s also somewhere in the neighbourhood of double the speed of the two-month-old Firefox 52 (aw, memories).
Mozilla’s team has also built a new engine here to make the experience of switching between tabs smoother than before. That’s paired with a new streamlined UI called Photon, which appears to take some minimalist cues from the mobile browsing experience.
Sources inform, there are other bells and whistles, including additional integration with the read-it-later service, Pocket, recommending stories based on the sites frequently visited.
SVP Mark Mayo explained in a post “We looked at real world hardware to make Firefox look great on any display, and we made sure that Firefox looks and works like Firefox regardless of the device you’re using, our designers created a system that scales to more than just current hardware but lets us expand in the future.”
Browsers like Chrome and Safari have taken great pains to strip excess baggage in order to make browsing as fast as possible. Meantime, Firefox’s market share has slipped substantially.