And just like that, Mozilla has ended nightly builds of Firefox 64-bit for Windows. The reasoning behind doing so is logical and was laid out by Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg. Only 5 days after his post on the mozilla.dev.planning discussion board, nightly builds were turned off.
- Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions.
- The plugins that are available don't work correctly in Firefox because we haven't implemented things like windowproc hooking, which means that hangs are more common.
- Crashes submitted by 64-bit users are currently not high priority because we are working on other things.
- This is frustrating for users because they feel (and are!) second-class.
- It is also frustrating for stability team triage because crash-stats does not easily distinguish between 32-bit and 64-bit builds in the topcrash lists and other reports. We basically ignore a set of nightly "topcrashes" because they are 64-bit only. (See bug 811051).
Browsing through the discussions, it was clear that a large portion were against disabling the 64-bit version, however, some did agree with him. He then posted "Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. Given the existing information, I have decided to proceed with disabling windows 64-bit nightly and hourly builds. Please let us consider this discussion closed unless there is critical new information which needs to be presented."
Windows users who would like a 64-bit browser can switch to OS X or Linux, which both have 64-bit Firefox. Windows users can also select from Internet Explorer or Opera as Chrome and Safari do not currently have a 64-bit version available for Windows.
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