Mozilla has officially made a beta version of an ARM64-compatible build of its Firefox “Quantum” browser available to users running Windows 10 PC’s with Snapdragon processors. The company has been working with Qualcomm for at least a few months now, and today users of the beta release channel can give it a go before it becomes generally available.
Users have also been able to use Firefox Nightly builds of the ARM64 variant of the browser since January. However now any beta tester can grab their hands on the browser without the higher level of risk that comes from the Nightly builds.
Of course, Firefox isn’t the only browser that now works on an ARM-based computer. A developer was recently able to recompile the Chromium browser to work natively on the processor. Additionally, Microsoft CVP Joe Belfiore once pointed out that the Redmond giant has already been “making contributions to the Chromium project to help move browsing forward on new ARM-based Windows devices.”
One of the most noticeable benefits of an ARM-based Snapdragon-powered “Always Connected” PC is its efficiency of battery life. However, due to its lower processing speed than many beefier Intel processors, these devices are designed for primarily for web browsing and light productivity.
While Always Connected PCs are already capable of emulating programs designed for Intel chips, designing apps such as web browsers for the ARM architecture is certain to boost performance as they will be able to run natively on Snapdragon chipsets.Further reading: Firefox, Windows 10, Windows 10 on ARM