The most recent Firefox version comes with lots of improvements for all supported platforms, but this time Windows 10 receives some special love from Mozilla.
Firefox 69 thus ships with plenty of exclusive goodies in addition to the new features that are also offered to Linux and macOS users (such as the Enhanced Tracking Protection and the Block Autoplay tool that now includes videos too).
First and foremost, a little something about the Enhanced Tracking Protection, which is also available in the Windows 10 version of the browser.
Mozilla privacy tool has been updated in Firefox 69 and is now turned on by default, basically blocking third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers without the need for users to activate any control. This should make the browsing overall more secure by default.
Additionally, the strict setting that the Enhanced Tracking Protection comes with, and which is available as optional, can block fingerprinters and all the items that are blocked in the standard configuration. Again, this represents a boost in terms of security for all users who enable this setting.
Getting back to the exclusive Windows 10 goodies, it all starts with support for Windows Hello for website authentication.
Windows Hello is Microsoft’s biometric authentication system bundled into Windows 10, and it allows users to log into the operating system, in apps, and on websites by having their faces or fingerprint readers. Dedicated hardware is required and the feature must be enabled on Windows 10 before it can work in Firefox 69.
Windows Hello in Firefox requires at least Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903).
“Support for the Web Authentication HmacSecret extension via Windows Hello now comes with this release, for versions of Windows 10 May 2019 or newer, enabling more passwordless experiences on the web,” Mozilla explains.
Enhanced Tracking Protection in Mozilla Firefox
Then, Firefox 69 is specifically optimized to deliver faster performance on Windows 10, and Mozilla says this new version includes smaller refinements here and there to fine-tune the usability side of the browser.
For example, beginning with this update, Firefox will pin the browser’s shortcut to the Windows 10 taskbar, making it easier to launch it faster. However, I think this is a double-edged sword on Windows 10, as having new icons pinned to the taskbar might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I for one don’t like any new apps to pin their icons without me specifically asking for it, so that Firefox icon will be removed immediately.
Then, Mozilla has made changes regarding the process priority level in Windows 10, suggesting that the browser should now benefit from reduce CPU usage.
“Firefox will give Windows hints to appropriately set content process priority levels, meaning more processor time spent on the tasks you’re actively working on, and less processor time spent on things in the background (with the exception of video and audio playback),” Mozilla explains.
Firefox 69 also continues Mozilla’s departure from Adobe Flash Player, and given the retirement of this platform, the new browser comes with refinements that further help improve privacy.
“With the deprecation of Adobe Flash Player, there is no longer a need to identify users on 32-bit version of the Firefox browser on 64-bit version operating systems reducing user agent fingerprinting factors providing greater level of privacy to our users as well as improving the experience of downloading other apps,” the official release notes read.
Mozilla Firefox 69 also includes security fixes that are exclusive to Windows, as it follows: