There are a number of features that make Firefox Quantum a significant new entry in the browser wars, included its new CSS engine (Quantum CSS). Quantum CSS leverages the multi-core processors in our modern computing rigs, parallelizing work across all cores. While Mozilla is touting an overall 2x improvement in performance, some operations can load up to 18 times faster thanks to Quantum CSS.
It is also claimed that Firefox uses 30 percent less RAM than Google Chrome, which is a notorious offender in that area. This lower memory footprint is most noticeable when opening multiple tabs (which all of us frequently do), as users won't see a drag on performance or crippling memory and CPU usage that can often cripple Chrome.
The Photon UI has also been streamlined compared to previous versions of Firefox, and is designed to provide smooth and fast performance when browsing your favorite websites.
"To create Photon, our user research team studied how people browsed the web," wrote Mozilla's Mark Mayo. "We looked at real world hardware to make Firefox look great on any display, and we made sure that Firefox looks and works like Firefox regardless of the device you’re using. Our designers created a system that scales to more than just current hardware but lets us expand in the future."
Other features included with Firefox Quantum include a new Screenshots tool, which lets you capture images of your browsing sessions and share them directly from within Firefox. Pocket is built right into the toolbar, and provides quick access to articles and videos that you have saved for later viewing. Firefox Quantum also includes native support for WASM and WebVR to empire next generation gaming.
And despite the constant knocks on Google Chrome, Mozilla has no qualms about the fact that Google is now the default search provider for Firefox Quantum in the United States and Canada.
Mozilla Firefox Quantum is available now for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. It will also be available for iOS and Android mobile platforms.