THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced the first beta build of Firefox for Windows 10 Always Connected devices.
The browser makes its debut as a native app for ARM-based Windows machines which have hitherto been relying on an emulation, in common with a number of key apps.
Firefox is a very important piece of the puzzle for ARM-based Windows, as it represents the main alternative to Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, which are being developed through the bi-company involvement with the Chromium project.
Firefox for ARM64 is tuned for Qualcomm's octa-core chips, which means that it can run multiple processes with a bit of dignity, thanks to the same tech that has brought the rest of us a serious speed boost, thanks to the addition of Firefox's Quantum technology.
Full compatibility with other versions of Firefox (and therefore the web in general) is maintained in this version, which is exactly what Microsoft wants from ARM machines - a seamless experience - but it won't happen until key apps like this are converted - emulation works, but man, it's slow.
If you're interested in testing the Beta version and you have one of the (still relatively rare) ARM-based Windows laptops (branded as Always Connected) then you can download the Beta now. If you don't have one, expect to see new models being released from a bunch of manufacturers in the coming months.
If you're particularly brave, you could even dabble in the Developer channel or even the Nightly Builds, but the further down the rabbit hole you go, the less stable the results are likely to be.
At the time of writing, there's been a lot of fixes to the Beta, and the known issues list is completely void, suggesting you'll get a stable experience, but we say that with all the caveats you'd expect from us about not using beta software as your daily driver. μ
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