Firefox Quantum will bring a healthy speed boost, modern design in November

The new Firefox Quantum is going to be released on the 14th of November.

Mozilla boasts that Firefox Quantum is twice as fast at loading popular websites as it was a year ago and claims on its own tests of the beta that it beats Chrome to many websites, including the Google login page.

Nick Nguyen from Mozilla wrote, "Engines are important, both in cars and in browsers". These include Firefox's new user interface redesign, known as Photon, which delivers, among other things, square tabs (rather than the current rounded ones) and a new address bar.

"We've also improved Firefox so that the tab you're actively using downloads and runs before other tabs you have open in the background", the company said in a blog post, noting that the process "results in Firefox Quantum often being faster than Chrome, while consuming roughly 30% less RAM".

To complement Quantum, the Photon team rebuilt Firefox's interface to be faster and more modern. That's only around 25% of all legacy plugins, meaning that almost 75% of all Firefox add-ons won't be available to users on the new version. It is, in fact, taken from its Project Quantum endeavor to speed up Firefox and catch up with the market.

Nearly a year ago, Mozilla announced "Project Quantum", which promised to bring over significant changes to Firefox's Gecko engine from the "Servo" research project.

Apart from performance improvements, the new browser also brings in a new design language with a more clutter-free minimalist approach.

More improvements are in the pipeline for later Firefox versions, too, including Quantum Render, which should speed up Firefox's ability to paint web pages onto your screen. We're confident that with Photon, Firefox Quantum users will be impressed by the modern new design that puts their needs first. If you're using Photon on a Windows PC with a touch display, the menus change size based on whether you click with a mouse or touch with a finger.

Mozilla says the firm has also carried out a "browser-wide initiative to zap any instances of slowness you might encounter while using Firefox", which has seen 468 issues fixed. However, if you want to jump in and start testing it ahead of time, you can get an early look by downloading the Firefox Beta now. As part of its Project Photon initiative, Mozilla will rid of the ugly curved tab design now seen in Firefox and will able to take advantage of high-resolution screens.

  • Joey Payne