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.