TechRadar Pro: Will you release a 64-bit version of Firefox on Windows?
Johnathan Nightingale: We've been working on 64-bit builds and at Mozilla we put everything we do through very robust quality testing, which includes automated testing as well as human QA testing.
While 64-bit Firefox on Windows seems like a relatively small thing to some people we want to make sure that everything works perfectly. We have a high quality bar and focus a lot on things like performance and stability; things our users have told us are important. We're not going to push out to a new platform without being really very confident that we're delivering something that is worthy of the Firefox name.
64-bit Firefox on Windows has moved out of the initial calibration and qualification phase, and since Monday you will see it in our Nightly release channel. We expect that to run through the trains probably on Firefox 36 unless we find any problems.
Released versions of Firefox are already fully 64-bit on Mac OS X and Linux. 64-bit Firefox on Windows is coming quickly.
TRP: What features would you like to see next from Firefox?
JN: Firefox is at its best when it is helping me out. A decade ago this meant giving me tabbed browsing so I didn't have hundreds of windows open at once because that was hard to manage. Other browsers used the tab concept too, but Firefox really popularised that idea and brought it to the mainstream. In the process, my life online got easier because I had a new tool.
10 years ago, Firefox helped me by blocking pop-up ads. This was controversial because as a browser, there's an argument to say that we should be objective and shouldn't mess with what a web page is trying to do. I disagree with that, I think we should have an opinion. Back then, our opinion was that pop-up ads were a nuisance so we shipped a blocker to take away that pain.
Let's look at solving the problems that I'm having today.
Today, it's about having too many machines. I would love to see features on Firefox to make it easier for me to move between my devices and give me the ability to synchronise them all and live on several at once. I would like to be able to start doing something on my desktop, and pick it back up later on my phone or tablet exactly where I left off.
Today, there are a lot of people following me around and I don't understand that. I don't know how many people there are, I don't know what they are doing with my information and I don't know how to control it.
I have privacy concerns that are about the web at large and also about my devices. I want to be able to give my phone to a friend when we are in a restaurant so they can quickly look something up without them being able to sift through my personal data. How do I do that? I want to be able to share my laptop with a roommate in college but still have secrets. How do I do that?
I'm curious to see more of that.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.