Whoa! Already? I've been waiting for that to happen since 2005 when Fedora Core 4 was released. It had a 64-bit Firefox in it. Actually Fedora Core 3 had one, but it was a beta version and I didn't use it ever. So my 11 year wait is over.
Mozilla's release policy is ... how to put it ... confusing? Insane? Mindless? Linux and OS X had proper versions of my favorite browser years ago, but on Windows, they seriously dopped the ball. Competition have had 64-bit builds for: Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome, Dillo and what not. Even the mostly malfunctioning slow piece of crap Edge has a 64-bit build of it.
Here is the 2012 Mozilla’s manager list of bullshit reasons for not doing a 64-bit version:
Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions.
The plugins that are available don’t work correctly in Firefox because we haven’t implemented things like windowproc hooking, which means that hangs are more common.
Crashes submitted by 64-bit users are currently not high priority because we are working on other things.
This is frustrating for users because they feel (and are!) second-class.
It is also frustrating for stability team triage because crash-stats does not easily distinguish between 32-bit and 64-bit builds in the topcrash lists and other reports. We basically ignore a set of nightly “topcrashes” because they are 64-bit only. (See bug 811051).
I'd still like to point out that at that time Linux and OS X had it. The list is total bullshit, as the crash reports and triage would have easily identified build bitness with minor changes, if only there would have been a true will of doing it. Most of people like me didn't care about lacking plugin support. Everything that I needed was already there and working.
The obvious effect will be for Cyberfox. 8pecxstudios has been very active in the 64-bit scene and I've been using their excellent product for couple of years. My previous favorite, Waterfox advertises being a high performance browser based on the Mozilla platform made specifically for 64-Bit systems. They say that Waterfox has one thing in mind: speed, however, it's in a very low maintenance mode and currently it is 3 versions behind. In my book, that's unmaintained already.
I strongly doubt that none of the excuse-list items have vaporized. I'm glad that the version is out, but not very happy that it took so many years. This entire case is a disgrace.