Mozilla reboots with Firefox 57

Breakthrough

Article from Issue 209/2018
Author(s):

What’s new in Firefox 57 Quantum – and why does it matter so much?

Firefox 57 Quantum is probably the most important release in the Mozilla browser's 15-year history. Firefox 57 (FF57) is the biggest upgrade cycle yet for Firefox and the stakes are high: Public acceptance of FF57 is important for Mozilla's future health.

Market observers say the overall Firefox marketshare is somewhere between 8 and 12 percent. By comparison, Google Chrome weighs in closer to 60 percent. Firefox fares better within the Linux community, though, where many users prefer it for ideological reasons while others are attracted to its impressive range of extensions. But even among the Linux crowd, Chrome has been closing the gap in recent years.

Setting the Stage

One mistake Mozilla made was the failed excursion into Firefox OS. Mozilla spent a great deal of money on the ill-fated mobile OS, and the Firefox OS effort used up valuable developer resources, thus slowing down work on Mozilla's flagship browser. In addition, integrating the online bookmarking service Pocket and the WebRTC service Hello added more bloat. Mozilla also annoyed some customers by displaying ads on the New Tab page and by collecting too much data.

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