Upside is that latest browser release should boost performance and reduce crashes.

Sadly, yet probably inevitably, support for Windows XP and Vista is no more. That’s right it’s gone, and it won’t be coming back. The Firefox browser was one of the last browsers to still support the older Windows operating systems even though Microsoft has had them both officially retired for some time.

Firefox 53 users could see a significant boost in performance and 17% less crashes than before.

Firefox 53 users could see a significant boost in performance and 17% less crashes than before.

The new bits everyone will like…

Perhaps the biggest and most obvious change is to the look of Firefox 53. While Firefox sticks with the traditional look by default, under the hood, Mozilla has ripped out a substantial amount of the older technology to improve Firefox’s performance, security and reliability.

Based on the Firefox developer edition, Mozilla have given users two new “compact” themes that offer dark and light views respectively. While ostensibly, they look and feel a bit like Apple’s Safari, or Microsoft’s Edge browser, they are a breath of fresh air, and make for a more seamless on-line experience. Thus a lot of the older themes that have been part of the Firefox stable for several years are no longer available.

And the rest…

Among the all the other small changes and improvements you expect from an updated browser, is the addition of a new feature called “Quantum Compositor” for Windows users. This is meant to improve the stability of Firefox overall. According to tests carried out by Mozilla engineers, this has managed to reduce graphics related crashes by about 10% overall. Ok, so it doesn’t sound like much, but anything that stops Firefox from crashing is a good thing; and when added to all the incremental improvements in recent Mozilla releases, Firefox is rapidly turning into one of the most bomb proof browsers going, and that’s not a bad thing either.

Anything else?

Not really, but the audio and visual controls have also been given a new visual design, and there’s also now support for WebM video with alpha, which allows developers to embed video with transparent backgrounds into pages, which is nice. Oh, and of course the usual glut of security and other stability fixes, which is always good.

Try Firefox 53 for yourself, download it now for free – here on FileHippo.com