There has been furore this week after Mozilla removed the 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows from their nightly builds. They said that the 64-bit version for Windows wasn’t a priority for their development team, and that compatibility and performance problems meant that the 32-bit version of Firefox worked better for users. This is despite their Mac OS X of Firefox being a “universal” application, containing both 32-bit and 64-bit code, and apparently not suffering from compatibility or performance problems. (I understand that their Linux versions of Firefox are also 64-bit.)
There have been strong views expressed about this in some parts of the technology media, although I suppose one should take a step back and accept that Mozilla can and should make their own decisions about the priorities of the Firefox developers.http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/64-bit-firefox-for-windows-should-be-prioritized-not-suspended/
On my Mac, the majority of applications are “universal”, and run as 64-bit applications. Apple has made the move to 64-bit reasonably painless, and I would imagine that most users are unaware that the architecture of their applications has changed as the operating system and applications have been updated.
Microsoft, however, seems to have made more of a song and dance over 64-bit, with separate installations of Windows for 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, and different versions of applications available. I wonder why they didn’t go for a universal approach? It seems to have made life unnecessarily awkward for their developers.