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Firefox 53 drops support for Windows XP and Vista, reduces crashes and adds new themes

Mozilla on Wednesday launched Firefox 53 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Chief among the many modifications in Mozilla’s newest is the inclusion of a new Quantum Compositor, a few new themes for desktop customers and the drop of support for older variations of Windows.

Initially introduced in October, Mission Quantum is Mozilla’s effort to develop a next-gen browser engine to take full benefit of recent . The Quantum Compositor is among the first essential items of the puzzle. As Mozilla’s Nick Nguyen explains:

We’ve now extracted a core a part of our browser engine (the graphics compositor) to run in a course of separate from the principle Firefox course of. The compositor determines what you see in your display by flattening into one picture all of the layers of graphics that the browser computes, form of like how Photoshop combines layers.


As a result of the Quantum Compositor runs on the GPU as an alternative of the CPU, it’s super-fast. And, due to occasional bugs in underlying machine drivers, the graphics compositor can generally crash. By operating the Quantum Compositor in a separate course of, if it crashes, it gained’t convey down all of Firefox, and even your present tab.

In testing, Mozilla claims the Quantum Compositor reduces browser crashes by about 10 p.c.

Firefox 53 for desktop additionally ships with two new themes – Compact Mild and Compact Darkish – that shrink the dimensions of the browser’s consumer interface in an effort to present extra actual property for net pages. Compact Mild retains Firefox’s default mild coloration scheme whereas Compact Darkish inverts colours to scale back eye pressure (particularly in low-light environments). To toggle the new themes, merely click on the menu button then choose Add-ons -> Look.

Mozilla’s newest formally drops support for Windows XP and Vista (32-bit Mac OS X is now not supported, both). Microsoft, should you recall, ended mainstream support for Windows XP in 2009 whereas Vista reached end-of-life standing earlier this month.

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