Fans of Firefox have waited what seems like a lifetime for Mozilla to add 64-bit support.
If you are one of these fans, prepare to be disappointed as Mozilla has just announced their decision to pull the plug on the development.
The announcement was posted by Benjamin Smedberg, Mozilla Engineering Manager on the organizations Bugzilla development page:
“Please stop building windows 64 builds and tests. 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.”
Development of native 64-bit software has really picked up pace in recent years, with Gartner predicting that 75% of corporate PCs will be running a 64-bit Windows by 2014.
And with companies like Oracle and Adobe bringing in 64-bit versions of Java and Flash respectively, abandoning development practically makes Firefox the odd one out.
The decision leaves Opera and Internet Explorer as the only 64-bit browser options on the Windows platform, though Chrome will soon join the ranks.
A 32-bit browser runs fine on a 64-bit operating system, thanks to Window compatibility libraries, but it is not optimized and suffers some obvious performance penalties.
Of course, it may be a temporary hiatus until a solution is worked out, but it remains to be seen how Mozilla may came to regret its decision to halt development in the future.