Firefox Browser Gets a Major Overhaul, But Who Really Cares?
Released today, Firefox Quantum marks the browser's biggest update since version 1.0 was launched in 2004, according to the browser's maker, Mozilla. Featuring a "completely overhauled core engine," the updated browser also provides much-improved speed and efficiency, Mozilla said.
It's uncertain, though, how much impact those improvements will have on Firefox's place in the Web browser market, which is now dominated by Google's Chrome. The latest October data from the Web-tracking W3Counter shows Chrome currently holds 58.8 percent of the global browser market, followed by Apple's Safari with 13.4 percent, Microsoft's Internet Explorer/Edge with 9.8 percent, and Firefox with 9.1 percent.
However, Mozilla has a strategy for marketing Firefox Quantum in the face of Chrome's dominance: It's targeting an audience of "conscious choosers" who would rather support a not-for-profit operation over Google-driven commercial interests.
Targeting 'Conscious Choosers'
At the height of its popularity in 2010, Firefox had a 34.1 percent share of the Web browser market and was in second place behind Internet Explorer, which had 48.3 percent of the market. Since then, Chrome's adoption rates have risen steadily while all of its browser competitors have declined to under 15 percent of the market.
"Our research tells us that Firefox and its parent organization Mozilla are both well-known brands," chief marketing officer Jascha Kaykas-Wolff wrote today in a company blog post. "Yet not enough people see a distinction between Firefox and our biggest competitor, Chrome. And even fewer people understand that Mozilla is a not-for-profit responsible for pro-Internet technologies, policies, and programs beyond Firefox."
Kaykas-Wolff said Mozilla aims to promote its latest version of Firefox by targeting the market of "conscious choosers" who make up 23 percent of all Internet users.
"This segment takes time to research and understand products and companies in order to make a deliberate choice about who and what they support," he said. "They share a worldview that is against monopolies and centralized power hubs, and for democratic access to information, knowledge, and resources. They try hard to reconcile these values with their behaviors, and while willing to take the extra effort to do what is right, they are in a constant balancing act between choosing what is 'easy' and doing what is 'right.'"
Mozilla's timing for that strategy could prove to be spot on, as public concerns have grown about the roles of larger tech companies in enabling political trolling, ad-driven misinformation campaigns, and Russian interference in Western elections. On Oct. 31, for example, senior executives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., to offer testimony and answer questions about suspicious online activities in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
1,500-Plus Bug Fixes
The new Firefox Quantum is "over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago," Firefox senior vice president Mark Mayo wrote today on the Mozilla blog. It features code contributions from more than 700 developers, as well as fixes for more than 1,500 bugs that had affected responsiveness, performance, and user experience.
In addition to a speed boost, Firefox Quantum also provides a new user interface called "Photon" that was designed to modernize the browser user experience, Mayo said.
"To create Photon, our user research team studied how people browsed the web," Mayo said. "We looked at real world hardware to make Firefox look great on any display, and we made sure that Firefox looks and works like Firefox regardless of the device you’re using. Our designers created a system that scales to more than just current hardware but lets us expand in the future."
Given Mozilla's new Firefox marketing strategy, Quantum also makes Google the default search provider for users in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. However, the browser has pre-installed more than 60 search providers in 90-plus languages as part of an overall search strategy to "select the best search experience in each region as opposed to having a single global default," according to chief legal and business officer Denelle Dixon.
Image credit: Logo by Mozilla/FireFox.
Posted: 2017-11-22 @ 11:10am PT
The loss of Roboform is a fatal flaw for me and my work.
Posted: 2017-11-22 @ 10:54am PT
Tell Chris Beard, Mozilla's CEO, that the update sucks. Read the damn reviews. Everyone hates it. I guess like many other people I will be changing.
Posted: 2017-11-21 @ 12:49pm PT
The new update of November 14th, looks good but it is messing up a lot of sites. Even on Facebook. Either correct the problem or go back one update. No information, just a list of things to the left of the page. The rest is nothing.
Posted: 2017-11-21 @ 3:57am PT
i was happy with Firefox until it updated about 11/18/17. It has lost the "star" to book mark a website. All of my bookmarks have been lost. Can I revert to the previous version of Firefox? It was a lot more user friendly than the most resent update.
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 8:38pm PT
This blows. Firefox is just the latest to call some trash an upgrade. They want to "target conscious users"? To what? Make them run away?
The internet is a tool. It's as though someone took your claw hammer and put it so the claw sticks up, or took your screwdriver and put a crank on it instead of a handle.
Change can be bad. When it takes a learning curve to make a system function the way it did before, which is the proper way that it should, that change is bad and wasn't created by people who have the system or the user's best interests at heart but only their own.
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 7:04pm PT
it's slower than ever. Facebook takes more than 10 min to be fully loaded. Same with tumblr. Even with duckduckgo.
Please, return to the previous version or make this one as optional. I want the previous firefox.
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 10:06am PT
Couldn't keep multiple windows open on new Firefox browser. Slowed system way down.
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 9:50am PT
I've been using the beta for about two months and I have not experienced any issues. It's definitely comparable to Chrome now. The only downside is a lot of the extensions are not compatible with quantum.
A Firefox user:
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 9:27am PT
Something is TERRIBBLY WRONG!!!
Faster? - Nope
Buggiest Fire Fox Ever - Yep
This message took over 5 minutes to type. Every click, every key stroke, takes seconds to over 1 minute appear.
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 8:52am PT
I have used Firefox for a long time and always liked it. Downloaded the new Firefox and now having a lot of problems. Not real happy. I know they will have a lot of bugs to work out, just do it fast will ya.
Posted: 2017-11-20 @ 3:11am PT
My Mozilla Firefox upgraded itself and I lost all my favorites and markers that I made. I tried to restore the whole windows 10 to an earlier date and it worked for about half an hour and then, started to upgrade again without my approval, and I lost everything again. WHAT CAN I DO TO CORRECT THIS?
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 9:19pm PT
if you really don't care about Firefox.. then what's the need to post an article about this..this shows you are scared about the downfall of your favorite browser
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 5:53pm PT
So far what I see is confusion 101. One programmer to another. "Simplicity,Simplicity,Simplicity.... There are still those not quite up to the tech we know. They will go elsewhere until they learn.
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 3:46pm PT
It SUCKS!! Everything I click on or type, takes several seconds to respond. This is terrible. My previous version of Firefox worked terrific. I feel like I'm using dial-up technology again.
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 1:02pm PT
It sucks. Leave my computer alone. After you updated I could not find any of my favorites, and book marked pages. I had to do a system restore to get it back to normal. I didn't ask for it, and do not want it.
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 12:18pm PT
It is FFFFFFAASSST and use less resources
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 11:25am PT
do not like! how refresh page? HELP
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 8:06am PT
Assuming that 9% is accurate, that's a couple of hundred million people. So "who cares"? A few of us.
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 7:39am PT
the new update is terrible, fix it within a cpl days or i switch to something else more stable
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 7:33am PT
i don't like the change at all. To much junk on the screen
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 7:18am PT
I use FireFox because google knows too much about me.
But I just downgraded to FF 56.0 because FF 57. didn't seem to do things correctly.
Posted: 2017-11-19 @ 7:14am PT
I am a translator. When entering queries in Chinese, then clicking on the Transate this page link in Google, I get a 400 error message 80 % of the time. This never happened before. WTF?
Posted: 2017-11-18 @ 7:54pm PT
Slow freezes horrible I always liked fire fox until now. This is unusable
Posted: 2017-11-18 @ 2:16pm PT
I use my bookmarks two hundred times a day to help me get my job done. This update sucks, my bookmarks are not sane to use. I got people screaming at me due to I am stuck on the computer trying to find a web site.
Thank You for a wonder full day Firefox.
Posted: 2017-11-18 @ 1:11pm PT
Aside from its real virtue (no adverts) it sucks! The engineers who devised this code should be made to live with Donald Trump for a week. I have spent a few hours trying back up, it's that fargin bad.
Posted: 2017-11-18 @ 12:53pm PT
I was happy with it as it was. Now I can't find what I want and am very frustrated. Thanks a bunch Fierfox, you have let a lot of your supporters down. We won't forget!
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 8:16pm PT
It doesn't work. Slow and hogs cycles.
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 7:12pm PT
And Firefox is becoming no better. It automatically put its "new" version on my computer. And its slow as all hades. I can hardly wait for Linux to over take billy the goat boy gates and his "windows" which is a failing system in and of itself.
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 5:52pm PT
Firefox is slower with new update.
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 2:21pm PT
i use it and edge, i'll never use anything by google, same goes for apple, sick of everybody thinking they have only 2 choices, either apples fascist closed eco sys bs or having to sell everything about oneself to some giant over lord corp. at least with apple, though i despise them, you buy it and own it, android and their bs so called open eco sys crap. try and close their data streams to there third party partners, black berry tried and see what it got em, they tell peeps they have the most secure android phone, what a joke. the only thing they do different from other phones is they tell you your data is being stolen and by who!! they can't stop it though. so yeh, i use firefox
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 10:28am PT
Not for profit? Go check out their 990 tax form and you will see lots of 6 digit salaries, some over a half a million a year they are paying themselves.
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 6:21am PT
I care. Thats why i use firefox. I don't want to be someone else's "product" for the privvy, of using the internet. That is also why I'm looking into quat9 and other services that leave me alone. BTW...I still have a netscape t-shirt :)
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 5:17am PT
Old Sony FSeries Laptop with i7...Ubuntu 16LTS...Put Quantum on yesterday and I can only speak to my experience, but it is really fast...noticeably faster than it was...I haven't put it thru its paces on the graboid websites...yet!....But as soon as I get up the courage, I will to see if they can break thru the restrictions that Quantum now has....
I am a "message" user: I use Firefox because I think that monopolies as an economic rule, ultimately destroy innovation and have a retarding effect which soon becomes an active restriction of access effect...intentionally to protect profits and unintentionally because monopolies are the only game in town...And that is dangerous to privacy because a monopoly can be easily coerced by a government into "monopoly-protection acquiescence" which simply means government has a monopoly by its junk and a monopoly will do whatever a government wants it to do to protect its monopoly...
Samuel Norring, Sr.:
Posted: 2017-11-17 @ 2:51am PT
firefox is very effective
Posted: 2017-11-16 @ 3:50pm PT
Since this started today everything is slower and harder to access. What's up?
Posted: 2017-11-15 @ 12:51am PT