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Mozilla Firefox 48 Brings Multi-Process Support: First Version To Rock Electrolysis

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Mozilla has announced the latest Firefox 48 for desktop. The browser will be the first to rock the multi-process feature called Electrolysis.

Developers at Mozilla have been working on Electrolysis, also known as e10s, for about seven years. The multi-process feature will offer more stable and secure browsing experience to users.

"e10s promises to offer a major improvement to your browsing experience by separating Web content and Firefox UI processes. This means when a web page is consuming a large part of your computer's processing power, your tabs, buttons and menus won't lock up," says Nick Nguyen, vice president of Firefox.

Many users customize Firefox by installing add-ons, which can cause problems. Nguyen suggests that to avoid any issue related to customizations, the company is sending a software update initially to just 1 percent of desktop users.

The web browser space is extremely competitive. Firefox has been facing stiff competition with its major rival Google Chrome for about a decade. Mozilla is trying to attract users by improving its core technology with projects such as Electrolysis and the Servo browser engine.

Although Mozilla has finally released its multi-process feature, its rivals Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer have been using the feature for several years now. Mozilla has been working on the Electrolysis project since 2009, so it has taken longer than others to release the feature.

The delay of the multi-process feature is mainly due to changes in Mozilla's priorities. The Electrolysis project was suspended in 2011 and then resumed in 2013 because of complexities in the browser's extension architecture.

Reports suggest that some Firefox extensions interfered with other parts of the web browser, urging the developers to create a new extension system. Mozilla developers also had to create layers that offered developers a temporary alternative to continue to support their old extensions.

With Firefox 48 sporting the multi-process feature, it may improve browsing experience for users, but it still lags behind its rivals, which could be a reason why Mozilla is releasing the update to a few users.

Apart from the Electrolysis, Mozilla has improved the awesome bar that will now offer more relevant search suggestions to users. The Discovery Pane has also been redesigned to make it easier to read.

Mozilla has merged the Reading Lists with Bookmarks. The Synced tabs have now been relocated to the History Panel in Firefox 48. Firefox also now has enhanced security and improved download protection.

Photo: Areta do Bem | Flickr

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