Despite considerable interest, Mozilla has discontinued Firefox 64-bit development and asked developers to stop working on it.
Mozilla engineering manager Benjamin Smedberg asked developers to halt nightly builds for Firefox versions optimized to run on 64-bit versions of Windows.
A developer thread posted by Smedberg on the Google Groups mozilla.dev.planning discussion board, which is titled "Turning off win64 builds", discussed ceasing development for the 64-bit builds of Firefox.
He claimed that 64-bit Firefox is a "constant source of misunderstanding and frustration," and stressed the builds often crash, as well as the fact that plugins are not available in 64-bit versions. Hangs are also apparently common because of a lack of coding, subsequently causing plugins to function incorrectly.
Smedberg argues that the aforementioned issues causes users to feel "second class," while crash reports between 32-bit and 64-bit versions are said to be difficult to distinguish between for the browser's stability team. Users, meanwhile, will still be able to run 32-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows.
"Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread," he said. "Given the existing information, I have decided to proceed with disabling windows 64-bit nightly and hourly builds. Please let us consider this discussion closed unless there is critical new information which needs to be presented."
Following his message, the engineer then posted a thread titled "Disable windows 64 builds" on Bugzilla. He asked developers to "stop building windows [sic] 64 builds and tests."
One participant suggested that 50 percent of nightly testers were using the system, but Smedberg said it was "not the place to argue about this decision, which has already been made."