Mozilla Firefox 45 Removes Tab Groups, Provides Security Updates
Mozilla provides 21 security advisories for its Firefox 45 browser. New features in the browser include improvements to the Firefox Hello communication tool.Mozilla today released the Firefox 45 Web browser, which provides users with incremental feature updates and security fixes. Among Firefox 45's new features are improvements to the Firefox Hello communication tool that first debuted in the Firefox 34 release in 2014. With the update in Firefox 45, Mozilla is now providing users with the ability to share the tab they are viewing when a conversation starts. While Firefox Hello has been in the stable release of the Firefox Web browser since 2014, Mozilla still labels the feature as a beta technology. "When we confirmed that Firefox Hello was stable and secure, we wanted to get it into the general release of Firefox as soon as possible to let users experience it," Nick Nguyen, vice president of Firefox Product at Mozilla, told eWEEK. "We don't do this often, but we have maintained the beta label because the product continues to evolve even while it's in the general release." While Firefox Hello is gaining features, Firefox 45 is losing a feature, with the deprecation of the Tab Groups capability. Tab Groups started as a Mozilla Labs project known as Tab Candy, which evolved into a feature called Panorama that first landed in the Firefox 4 release that debuted in March 2011. The Panorama/Tab Groups feature enables users to group tabs together for faster startup and organization purposes.
"The primary reason for discontinuing the feature is low usage," Nguyen said, adding that approximately 0.01 percent of people using Firefox have active Tab Groups. It's hard to argue that Mozilla's spending engineering effort on the feature does the most good, especially because the engineering effort to keep Tab Groups running was disproportionately high, Nguyen said.