Mozilla Firefox 43 For Windows Finally Goes 64-Bit, Crushes Various Vulnerabilities In The Process


Mozilla's Firefox 43 browser is now out and about, bringing a number of improvements including 64-bit support for Windows.

The new Firefox 43 is available now for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android, adding several improvements and new features to enhance the overall experience.

Firefox users should get the upgrade automatically, but Firefox 43 is also available for download from Mozilla's Firefox website. The Android version, meanwhile, is available on Google Play.

The launch of 64-bit Firefox for Windows, however, is the most exciting highlight of this update. Firefox 43 is compatible with Windows 7 and newer, which means that it should bode well with roughly 80 percent of existing Windows PCs.

The addition of a 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows is important because it will now allow users to run larger applications with increased security and way faster execution.

While a 32-bit version of the browser can get a maximum of 4 GB of address space, a 64-bit version makes everything smoother. Web apps are increasingly becoming bigger and 4 GB of address space doesn't suffice at all times anymore, but the 64-bit version should fix the problem.

Browser-based games should now run a lot faster and smoother, as 64-bit support will better handle their high-quality assets and gameplay.

"Today we are releasing Firefox 64-bit for Windows to offer gains in performance for users with 64-bit systems. We're pleased to offer it to users of Windows 7 and above looking for added performance for applications and games," Mozilla announced in a company blog post on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

When it comes to execution, the 64-bit Firefox 43 can be much faster because it's now able to access new instructions and registers, notably accelerating JavaScript code. At the same time, the larger address space enables Firefox to tap hardware memory protection, while also making address space layout randomization (ASLR) more effective. In turn, this helps prevent malicious content found online from exploiting the browser.

On the other hand, Mozilla reckons that the new 64-bit Firefox for Windows currently has limited plugin support, which means that some sites requiring plugins may work on the 32-bit version of the browser, but not in the 64-bit one.

Nevertheless, the company reiterated its plans to ditch support for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash by the end of 2016.

Lastly, Mozilla also crushed some nasty vulnerabilities with the new 64-bit Firefox 43 for Windows. Four of them were deemed critical, while seven were considered serious. The company listed the security bugs after various researchers reported on them. For a complete list of changes, check out the release notes.

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