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Firefox 13 to be 2.5x Better Than Chrome in Memory Usage

Perhaps we are in a phase of browser version fatigue as Chrome is marching quickly toward edition 20 and Firefox 14 is currently laid out by Mozilla on the browser roadmap. You can't blame anyone who really does not want to keep track of minor changes from version to version anymore.

Of course, browsers still improve and capabilities shift here and there enough to make you rethink whether your current browser is the best browser you can use for your specific purposes. Firefox, for example, has been taken down to the mat for its unrestrained usage of memory that slowed down an entire computer to a crawl as soon as a certain number of tabs was opened. Mozilla launched a program called Memshrink that exclusively dealt with this problem and is still trying to find ways to make Firefox much more memory efficient. Product manager Asa Dotzler noted earlier this month that Memshrink has been hugely successful and Firefox 13 Nightly is two to three times more memory efficient than Chrome 17 - on a set of 18 tabs. The result most certainly will vary depending on the tabs and number of tabs in use, put I found Firefox to be using at least 25 percent less memory on the tabs that I usually have open during an average day.

Firefox 13, however, isn't due until June 5, as Firefox 11 will replace the current Firefox 10 soon and Firefox 12 will launch on April 24. The big news for Firefox 11 will be the integration of Chrome migration capability, which is a critical tool for Mozilla to win users back from Chrome, as well as the likely incorporation of Google's SPDY protocol that should provide a substantial boost of speed on Google websites and others that are using SPDY on their servers. If you have been waiting for silent updates, you will disappointed as the feature is now planned not to arrive until Firefox 13, with some clean-up to do in Firefox 14.

While Firefox 12 shapes to become a maintenance update with minor additions such as new media controls, Firefox 13 will be the most significant refresh of the year: Besides silent updates, the browser will see web apps integration, a new New Tab page, as well as the Home Tab application and memory improvements via incremental garbage collection. Further out this year, Firefox 14 is scheduled to receive the Windows 8 metro interface, a panel-based download manager and a faster session restore and browser startup.