Open for business: Firefox Quantum is ready for IT
The new, super fast Firefox supports Windows Group Policy, so enterprise IT pros can easily configure the browser for organizational use.
In the fall of 2017, Mozilla introduced Firefox Quantum — the blazing fast, completely reinvented Firefox. The new Firefox quickly won critical acclaim, with Wired writing that “Firefox Quantum is the browser built for 2017”.
Today Mozilla releases Firefox Quantum for Enterprise. Firefox now supports a long-requested feature — the ability for IT professionals to easily configure the browser using Windows Group Policy or a cross-platform JSON file.
If you’re an IT professional, why should you deploy a browser when your operating system already includes one? And why should Firefox Quantum be that browser?
SaaS has made the browser mission-critical
During the past decade many businesses have adopted web-based apps (SaaS). Employees now create spreadsheets, share files, track sales, submit expenses, and more — all through the browser. The shift to web apps has made the browser the most used application installed on PCs.
Older web browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer and past versions of Firefox) run many modern web apps slowly. Some web apps don’t even work on old web browsers because they rely on newer web standards that older browsers don’t support. That’s why IT professionals should ensure that their employees use an up-to-date browser capable of running modern web apps smoothly.
Speed up your business with Firefox Quantum
In business, every moment matters. Considering the significant time spent in a browser, think about its unique impact on productivity. Employees might save fifteen minutes every day by using a browser that loads pages and switches tabs just a few seconds faster.
So why are some browsers faster than others? And what’s special about Firefox Quantum?
Browsers, like cars, are powered by engines with unique performance characteristics. Firefox Quantum is the result of a years-long effort to build a cutting-edge browser engine that harnesses the power of today’s multi-core computers. The end result: Firefox Quantum is FAST.
Mozilla, the organization that makes Firefox, helped pioneer a whole new systems programming language called Rust. Parts of Firefox Quantum are coded in Rust — for example, a breakthrough algorithm that matches CSS to HTML. Most browsers do this matching in a single sequence on one CPU core, but Firefox Quantum does it faster, in parallel, across multiple CPU cores.
Firefox Quantum also features a “just right” multi-process architecture that carefully balances speed with memory usage. That means Firefox Quantum often loads pages faster than Chrome and Edge, while typically using less RAM. With Firefox, users can open numerous tabs, while still having enough RAM left to run Microsoft Office and other apps like Photoshop.
Easy configuration with Windows Group Policy or JSON
Enterprises often configure browsers to enhance corporate security and privacy, and to boost employee productivity. For example, IT might set a default proxy to create an additional layer of security, and to restrict the websites employees can visit. Or, IT may disable potentially distracting or risky features like private browsing and Flash.
Firefox Quantum features a new, easy way for administrators to configure the most commonly requested browser policies. Windows IT pros can download ADMX templates, set preferences through Group Policy, and then deploy the configuration to all users connected to an Active Directory.
Alternatively, to manage Firefox Quantum across Mac, Linux, and Windows, administrators can simply include a JSON configuration file inside of Firefox’s installation directory.
From an organization you can trust
Firefox is unique among browsers because its maker, Mozilla isn’t a for-profit company. Unlike other browser makers, Mozilla is driven by its mission to ensure that the Internet remain a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Firefox is an expression of Mozilla’s principles, including respect for user security and privacy.
To help keep users safe, Firefox Quantum sandboxes web page content, creating a boundary that separates malicious websites from a computer’s files and hardware. To protect privacy, Firefox does not track user activity to target advertising. Additionally, administrators and users can turn on Tracking Protection, which disables many invisible tracking scripts. Tracking Protection also cuts load times in half on many web pages.
Firefox is open source, and in fact, Mozilla is widely credited with kickstarting the open source movement. Thanks to this transparency, there’s nothing secret about what Firefox does under the hood.
Firefox Quantum is ready for enterprise deployment
Thousands of large and small businesses, universities, and government agencies have relied on Firefox for years. Many of these organizations have already been beta testing Firefox Quantum for Enterprise, and are planning to roll out the new browser in the weeks ahead.
With Firefox, organizations can deploy the standard Rapid Release (RR) or the Extended Support Release (ESR). Many IT professionals and their users prefer the Rapid Release, which automatically receives performance speedups and new features roughly every six weeks. The Rapid Release is also the build most web developers test their sites against, so it should work best with your SaaS apps.
The Extended Support Release (ESR), in contrast, receives one major update each year. IT teams that need to test against custom-made enterprise apps, or that prefer strict control of browser updates, often prefer this model. Both Rapid Release and Extended Support Release receive critical security patches as soon as possible.