A 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows is on its way
Firefox has fallen a little behind in the web browser wars when it comes to offering a 64-bit version of their software for Windows. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and several other popular web browsers already offer 64-bit software to browse the web using this improved architecture.
Mozilla were developing a 64-bit version for Windows, then they stopped. But now they're back on track to develop and then release a 64-bit Mozilla Firefox in the first quarter of 2015. And it's about time.
Official Firefox Page On Wiki
Eagle eyes spotted that the Mozilla Wiki web site has been updated to suggest that the organization is busy developing a 64-bit Firefox Stable version for Windows as we speak.
The linked page breaks down the reasons why Mozilla is interested in building a 64-bit version for Windows users. Their research has determined that more than half of the existing Firefox users run a 64-bit operating system so effectively half the user base aren't getting as much operational efficiency out of Firefox software as they could if a 64-bit version was already available.
Firefox will need to fully test the newer version to ensure that the most popular add-ons are compatible with the 64-bit package. The installer will also need to be updated to run properly as well.
The roll out of 64-bit Firefox for Windows will happen in three phrases:
First phase: A 64-bit installed will be issued. Users will be able to opt-in for a 64-bit version instead of the usual 32-bit version. At this stage it is to be expected that few if any of the existing binary add-ons and software plug-ins will work at all.
Second phase: A universal installer will be made available that can install on either x64 or x86 systems without the user needing to download a separate installer for 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems. This makes installation more convenient at this stage. 64-bit Flash support will likely be included and some add-ons will have been updated to run correctly under 64-bit architecture by this time.
Third phase: The auto-update feature will update users to Firefox 37 Stable which is expected to be release 31 March 2015 with 64-bit functionality.
Early Aurora (alpha) and Beta test builds will be released during the November 9 celebration of 10 years of Mozilla Firefox (has it really been that long?!) Users will be able to separately download and install one of these builds to try out an early 64-bit version. This is likely to be a first phase version.
If major bugs are discovered during either the Aurora or Beta phases then it is possible that the release of the Stable 64-bit version for Windows may be pushed back to later in 2015.