And customers must jump through a hoop or two to obtain future x64 updates. First, all current users on the 64-bit Firefox nightly channel will be automatically moved to the 32-bit nightly build. Those who want to continue to run the x64 browser must then manually download it.
The intent is clearly to get as many users now on the 64-bit nightly channel off it and onto the supported 32-bit Firefox.
At the same time, Smedberg gave no indication that the backtracking meant Mozilla would boost the x64 Firefox on its to-do list. The company has higher priorities, among them a Windows 8 Metro-style app, an expansion into social networking and an attempt to break into the mobile operating system market with Firefox OS.
Firefox x64's suspension is not likely permanent, however. Earlier this year, Asa Dotzler, director of Firefox, said development would probably be restarted in the future. "I do think we will eventually do a 64-bit release," Dotzler said in a discussion group last March. "That being said, I don't think it should be a priority right now given the many other things we've got on our plate."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
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