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Firefox Quantum will bring a healthy speed boost, modern design in November

Mozilla has been hard at work on the next big iteration of its Firefox browser for some time, and now it's almost here. Mozilla has announced Firefox Quantum, which is the new, catchier name for what was previously known simply as Firefox 57, will arrive on November 14 as a speedier and more attractive version of Firefox.

Firefox Quantum is the culmination of Firefox's work on what it calls "Project Quantum," its effort to "create a next-generation engine for modern computers." Simply put, Mozilla says Firefox Quantum should instantly feel much faster thanks to work it has done to better take better advantage of your PC's multiple CPU cores. Mozilla explains:

Firefox has historically run mostly on just one CPU core, but Firefox Quantum takes advantage of multiple CPU cores in today's desktop and mobile devices much more effectively. This improved utilization of your computer's hardware makes Firefox Quantum dramatically faster. One example: we've developed a breakthrough approach to laying out pages: a super fast CSS engine written in Rust, a systems programming language that Mozilla pioneered. Firefox's new CSS engine runs quickly, in parallel across multiple CPU cores, instead of running in one slower sequence on a single core. No other browser can do this.

Firefox's tab management has also been tweaked to more effectively prioritize the tab you're currently using ahead of tabs running in the background. Mozilla claims this "often" makes Firefox run faster than chrome while eating up 30 percent less RAM.

On top of the general speed improvements, Firefox Quantum will also introduce a new coat of paint to the browser. The design (seen above) certainly looks and feels much more modern than Firefox's current look. Mozilla says it has also done work to make sure the design is also just as usable on a touch display as it is using a mouse. Menus, for example, will change size based on whether you're clicking with a mouse or tapping with a finger.

The new, minimalist design introduces square tabs, smooth animations, and a Library, which provides quick access to your saved stuff: bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads, tabs, and screenshots.

Firefox Quantum will start rolling out for everyone on November 14. However, if you want to jump in and start testing it ahead of time, you can get an early look by downloading the Firefox Beta now.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

14 Comments
  • Should've been Firefox Neon. Opera and Microsoft did it for thier design changes, so...
  • Nobody switches to a new product because it does almost half of the things better.  It nearly failed the speed test on half....I still ask why switch?  Why does it matter? Plus I can tell from experience that FF failed to render faster on Google owned sites because Google launches "Install Chrome Now" messages all over which incurs extra rendering and downloading.
  • I don't understand your resentment. If it does half of the things better, and just nearly fails in test... well that sounds pretty neat to me. Are you on chrome? I can't stand chrome...
  • some faulty logic there...  if FF can get touch to be similar to Edge, that means it'll be a player for me.  Chrome is dead to me because of how ugly it renders text and how awful it is for touch.  I use Edge for touch.  I use FF for compatibility and plugins.
  • I'd be more interested if the extensions I use regularly could still run on it. I get the feeling I'll be sticking with the extended maintenance release for some time instead of making the leap - at least until things like DownThemAll and such can be reimplemented or something takes their place.
  • So, exactly why can they not put this in the store? 👀
  • it would have to run off the edges API
  • No if they use Win32 bridge
  • I've recently started beta testing FF 57 and I'll say it's been quite stable, so far. The official FF 55 (and earlier) has been a bug-ridden mess in comparison, for me. Even 56 runs better than previous editions. Good luck, Mozilla: You'll need it.
  • They needed to do something. Haven't used FF in almost half a decade. Prior to that I relied on it and never touched another browser. Today, I'm mixing Chrome and Edge. I'll be interested to see how this new FF affects battery life on laptops when released.
  • It looks WAY better. I might switch back to Firefox. I have been using Chrome-based browsers like Vivaldi and Opera and a little Edge for a long time.
  • Firefox is way better than Edge on Windows with DuckDuckGo as search engine. [A LOT] Less heat is generated by my laptop now, and the fan barely even runs when I'm browsing the web now... Also, I don't get any of the network issues I experience when using Edge (reproducible by simply trying to navigate to a page in Edge... it's Buggy A-F, especially with Extensions installed). I use it as my default Browser and PDF reader on Windows, now. This will be a welcome improvement. I don't use it on macOS, though. Safari outperforms everything there, and has better privacy features.
  • Seeing a lot better battery life on a Surface Pro using Firefox instead of Edge (Fast Ring, Jump Ahead). A lot less crashes, hangs, and freezing as well. If they would just make it UWP...
  • Modern design is one thing, but the way Mozilla manages to give its browser a speed boost amazes me every time. I don't know if Quantum will really be all the rage like they say, but it sure looks way better than anything Google's done recently, they are more busy dealing with HTC than making a good product.