The coming of Chrome changed everything. No longer was Mozilla's Firefox the king of browsers; Google's own web browser stole that title away, achieved in part by Firefox's growing performance kinks coupled with simplicity and ease of using Chrome.
In recent years, though, Chrome has become such as memory hog. It lags, it freezes, it crashes. It's frustrating at times, but it's still the most used browser at present, and it seems unstoppable. Its sheer popularity has rendered the likes of Opera, Safari, Edge, and Firefox mere alternative fail-safes for when Chrome stops working.
That might change soon. Mozilla is making a big comeback in the form of Firefox 57. In fact, the update is too significant to be lumped with a version number. So instead, Mozilla is calling it Firefox Quantum, representing a major leap in the way the browser works.
Firefox Quantum: Why You'll Want To Try Mozilla's Upgraded Browser
Earlier this week, the company officially launched the first beta for Firefox 57, or Quantum for those who want to sound fancy. Not a big deal, right? It's just a new version. Well, not really. It's perhaps the most important update to Firefox Mozilla has ever released.
It marks the many years of development it's taken the company to improve the browser's performance, both on the surface and under the hood. Simply put, Firefox Quantum offers new reasons for Firefox to be worth installing again.
• Performance: First off, Firefox Quantum is able to utilize multiple CPU cores. This was a major handicap of previous Firefox versions, causing even the most powerful PCs to lag when several tabs are open simply because Firefox doesn't use all the available power. The ability to utilize many cores also means that Firefox will now use much less power than before — often even less than Chrome, as TechCrunch notes.
• Interface and Design: Quantum uses a new interface, but it's still quite familiar. Mozilla replaced rounded tabs with more squared ones, resulting in a flatter look. The design changes serve a functional purpose, though: they make the browser faster, smoother, and more intuitive. This means users switching to Quantum will likely have very few problems adapting.
• Built-in Tools: As with previous Firefox versions, Quantum comes equipped with Pocket, a tool for saving articles. There's also a baked-in screenshot tool and a reading mode that eliminates distracting web page elements.
Under The Hood Improvements
With the Rust programming language, Mozilla laid the foundations of a future-thinking open-source browser. Unlike C++, Rust implements certain memory restrictions on developers for robust programs, and it doesn't compile unless it's safe — in most cases, anyway.
Quantum also utilizes some of the biggest aspects of Servo, a Mozilla-sponsored web engine. It's written in Rust, which means Quantum works in large part because of Rust code. Also written in Rust is Stylo, which employs multiple threads in applying CSS properties to many elements simultaneously. Simply put, everything will work much faster.
There are far too many under the hood improvements in Quantum, so make sure to check them all via Mozilla's blog post.
Firefox Quantum vs Chrome
Firefox Quantum is still in beta, so bugs are expected here and there, of course. For its part, though, Mozilla has already demonstrated just how fast it is than Chrome. That being said, it was still honest about performance results, highlighting instances where Chrome performed better. Check out that comparison video below:
So is Firefox Quantum better than Chrome? That remains to be determined. But is it worth considering? Absolutely.