Fast, Responsive, Reliable: A Browser For the Multi-Tab Age

Take a look at your browser window: how many tabs do you have open? It’s likely your answer is somewhere between “ten” and “a ton,” and you’re not alone. These days, users consume web content in a smorgasbord of tabs, leaving pages open (to look at later) even as we open new ones (for more immediate tasks and browsing). Most of the time, the web offers five-star buffet service, responding to our commands and serving up satisfying content on command.

But then there are times when you stand in line at the Internet buffet moving nowhere. You eye the lavish food displays while one person stalls, carefully picking over the salad and heaping spoonfuls of entrées onto his tray. This kind of hang time is frustrating. Your browser, overloaded with processing, temporarily freezes and fails to respond to your clicks and keystrokes, no matter how insistently you tap away. This is because some pages require a lot of your computer’s processing power, and the machine puts all of its energy into processing the page, rather than responding to you.

Last August, we began the rollout of Electrolysis (e10s), our multi-process browser functionality. Basically, multi-process means that the browser runs in two separate lanes: one for the user interface, and another for your many tabs (i.e., web content). This means that Firefox can react quickly to your insistent taps (input), instead of temporarily freezing while processing a page (or, let’s be honest, your dozens of open pages!) In terms of numbers, the multi-process Firefox browser hangs 86% less while web pages are loading, and 75% less after loading.

This means that the Firefox browser is more stable than ever before. You know how a single hanging page can lead to the entire browser crashing? Because multi-process Firefox runs user interface and content processes separately, if a page ever hangs and crashes, it doesn’t take the whole browser down with it.

We know you expect a flexible and responsive browsing experience that keeps pace with your internet appetite. The Firefox user experience is now faster, smoother, and more reliable than ever before. So feel free to feast on the Internet, and save room for dessert. Or (let’s be honest) — desserts.

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