If you're a Chrome user (or a Lifehacker reader), you're probably aware of how much memory the web browser uses. The most significant change is the introduction of a new multi-process architecture that allows code to run in parallel and improves memory consumption. Quantum is a Mozilla project to modernise the core of Firefox that's been in production for over a year.
Firefox 57 introduces a revamped user interface that introduces several new features, including square tabs, "smooth" animations, as well as a Library that provides quick access to anything the user saves such as bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads, tabs and screenshots. With Quantum, it hopes to regain some of its market share and demonstrate its commitment to maintaining Firefox going forward. Firefox Quantum will also prioritise the tab you are actively looking at over all others, so it will be smarter when it comes to allocating resources. According to Mozilla, the latest Firefox update packs hundreds of performance improvements that all add up to making Quantum two time faster than before.
Google is the default search provider for Quantum in the US and Canada, but users can select another search provider in one of more than 90 languages. In 2014, Yahoo's then-Chief Executive Officer, Marissa Mayer, lobbied heavily for the Firefox deal by agreeing to pay $375 million a year, according to regulatory filings.
But will Firefox's remodel be enough to cause its share to, say, overtake Microsoft's declining Internet Explorer/Edge combination (with a 19.7% share last month), or erode Chrome's dominance (59.8%)? Naturally, if you want to still use Yahoo, you can choose to do so, as it is one of the many alternate search engine options available on the browser. "It would have to be so unique".
Security and privacy are also a focus of Firefox Quantum. "I just don't see how they can come back".
"In a year from now, it will be the same all over again", Gold said, referring to Firefox's minor player status.