Mozilla has a plan for how to defeat Chrome. Meet Firefox 57 and the combat chanterelle in the armor

At the June Mozilla All Hands Developer Conference 2017 there was no familiar chanterelle on the stage – the unchanging mascot of Firefox in the last 14 years. At the opening of the conference, Mozilla's senior vice-president for the development of Firefox, Mark Mayo (Mark Mayo) explained what happened. It's a serious matter. It's time for war. The little fox is now dressed in an armored suit, following the example of the Iron Man – and is ready to give the offender back.

Mozilla has been working on a completely new version of the browser, which will be released on November 14, 2017 under the Firefox 57 version. It's not just a coincidence that the chanterelle in an armored suit Call Mark 57. It is this version of the browser that Mozilla has the highest hopes, writes Cnet. Mozilla believes that the version of Firefox 57 will be exactly the version that will make many former users return to Firefox.

For many years, the market share of Firefox has been steadily declining on desktops, and the share of Chrome is growing. To date, according to statistics, StatCounter, Chrome on desktop computers has a share of 63.47%, while Firefox has only 13.83%. Many hardcore fans of Firefox have now become happy users of Chrome.

This state of affairs does not suit Mozilla in any way, and Firefox does not think to give up.

The graph of changing the share of browsers on desktops is very eloquent. The release of Chrome in 2009 literally knocked down Firefox: since 2010, the decline began, which continues to this day.

Chrome has a smaller market share on mobile devices, but there is no Firefox at all . As former Mozilla technical director Andreas Gal wrote, it's pretty obvious from this chart that Firefox is going nowhere: "This means that the revered Chanterelle will stay with us for many, many years, despite the ever decreasing market share. It also means, unfortunately, that the reversal is almost impossible. "

Andreas believes that Firefox is waiting for an unenviable fate, because with the change of CEO about three years ago, a strategic decision was made that Mozilla will again concentrate its efforts on Firefox And the desktop market, and the web has now moved to mobile devices.

Andreas Gal believes that even the technical superiority of Firefox over Chrome in the desktop version of the browser will not have an effect on market trends: "Browsers are a product of mass consumption. They look almost the same and work almost the same. All browsers work pretty well, and if one of them works a little faster or consumes a little less memory, then this is unlikely to affect users. "

Andreas himself resigned from Mozilla, but the company's 1200 employees Can reason in the same defeatist vein. In addition to fighting for its browser, Mozilla is fighting for an open free web, trying to prevent the monopoly of a single browser

Therefore Firefox will fight to the last. And this battle is led by the very same new CEO, Chris Beard (Chris Beard), who led the company in April 2014 and relied on the desktop browser. Testing Firefox 57 began on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. This will be a very important release. Chris Bird compares it to the Big Bang: "We are going to bring back many people," he promises. Firefox is back!

In Firefox 57, the company decided to present a paid membership with a subscription to a number of branded services. It will be a kind of "Mozilla community", which in the future may even become an influential political force, and also help finance a non-profit organization. Mozilla sees its political role in the struggle between monopolies and advertising empires – it's Google search, Facebook tape, etc.

But to make the plans come true, Firefox 57 should be good from a technical point of view. It is reported that the most important changes are related to the Quantum project. Previously, multi-process was introduced, which significantly improves the performance of the browser. Other components of the project are Stylo (acceleration of formatting operations), Quantum Flow (elimination of bugs that slow down the browser), Quantum Compositor (acceleration of display of sites), WebRender (hardware acceleration of rendering).

Quantum became the new Firefox engine 57. The emphasis is on optimizing performance. Actually, such optimizations Mozilla systematically leads recently. According to the Speedometer test, for the last year Firefox performance under Windows has increased by 45%, and under MacOS – by 38%.

But even if Firefox has no equal in speed, will it help to return the audience? The developers promise a modern Photon interface, smooth animations and clear interface elements on any resolution. A number of other changes were made: the window title became black, a separate search string disappeared, an automatic transition to touchscreen mode was performed by clicking on the screen, the menu for actions with the page was made in the address bar (bookmarked, saved, etc.). The developers dared to even make rectangular tabs instead of rounded (R.I.P). Redesigned navigation icons and much more.

Let's hope that the authors of popular extensions will have time to rewrite them before the final release of Firefox 57, because they will have to do it: Firefox has moved to the Web standard Extensions.