The Mozilla Foundation has released version 100 of its flagship Firefox web browser.
There is no link in the paragraph above because, strangely, at the time of writing, the new browser is not officially mentioned anywhere on Mozilla’s website. However, you can download it from Mozilla: it is already on the foundation’s FTP site. You can choose between versions for macOS and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Linux.
If you don’t like the flat look of recent versions of Windows, it will also work on Windows 7, but you’ll need to install the official Microsoft KB4474419 update first. (Yes, the Mozilla support site admits the new version exists.)
The biggest change is an extra digit in the version number. Version 100 is do not an extended support release – the next of these is currently scheduled to be release 102 next June.
New features include support for subtitles in picture-in-picture video playback, whether you’re watching videos on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime – or other sites that support WebMTB.
Firefox 100 also detects if your operating system is set to a language different from the browser’s default language and will offer you to change. The browser can also auto-fill your credit card details, but at the moment this is only enabled in certain countries.
On mobile devices, it improves tab management, enables HTTPS-only mode by default and offers new wallpapers.
Linux users take advantage of GTK overlay scrollbars by default, which means a very thin scrollbar until you hover the mouse pointer over it. If you’re not a fan, you can turn it off by going to
about:config and adjustment
Although Firefox is a mature product these days, it has undergone major changes, some of which reset the theoretical maturity clock by years. The rewrite of Firefox Quantum was important, for example. Today, the selection of new-style WebExtensions add-ons is much wider than it was when Quantum debuted, and again, Firefox is the most customizable mainstream browser. There’s a choice of add-ons to give it a vertical tab bar, including in a hierarchical tree, for example, which Chrome still can’t do.
(If you do this, you should probably also hide the default horizontal tab bar and sidebar header.)
Most other browsers depend in some way on Google and its Blink engine, from the sometimes troubled Brave through Microsoft’s Edge to the now Chinese Opera and its founders’ Vivaldi. Mozilla is the only remaining independent browser vendor, and while we’d like it to focus more on power users, it’s a key part of the web. Long may it continue. ®