Mozilla nears finish line for 64-bit Firefox transition

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Mozilla now automatically delivers the 64-bit version of Firefox to Windows users with compatible hardware, the open-source developer said this week. (Firefox can be downloaded here.)

"Users on 64-bit Windows who download Firefox will now get our 64-bit version by default," Mozilla explained in a Monday post to a company blog.

The 64-bit version of Firefox 55, which Mozilla released on Aug. 8, is now installed by default on all 64-bit hardware running a 64-bit edition of Windows. The only other requirement is that the personal computer must be equipped with at least 2GB of RAM, or system memory.

A 64-bit browser on a 64-bit operating system can address more than the 4GB of memory available to a 32-bit application, letting users keep open hundreds of tabs, and run larger, more sophisticated web apps. Mozilla's rivals have offered 64-bit browsers for, in some cases, years. Google shipped a Windows 64-bit Chrome in August 2014 and one for macOS in November of that year, while Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) have had 64-bit editions on macOS and Windows since 2009 and 2006, respectively. Microsoft's Edge is 64-bit as well.