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I am Alex Russell. Ask me anything.


What's your opinion on Firefox Quantum? Have you tried it? Does Google Chrome see it as a threat?

Have been following Quantum development occasionally and use Firefox regularly, so it's been great (as a user) to see those improvements rolling in. I can say that the Chrome team has been studying the performance of FF Quantum and we're particularly impressed with their improvements in the style engine (the thing that turns CSS into styled elements in the page).

Quantum (and other systems like it) are premised on the notion that there's a lot of parallelism available on modern hardware that our software doesn't use. We've been busy parallelizing parts of Chrome for a few years now (GPU Rasterization was a big improvement in this area), but it has been incremental (rather than a "big-bang" release like Quantum).

There's a big open question in browser and systems design, particularly as regards mobile: do we actually have more cores? If you're moving from a world where the GPU is mostly idle and you're making web pages live on a single CPU core to get everything done, then the answer is very obviously "yes"...but that isn't where Chrome is today. In most of our traces from busy Android devices, we see the OS de-scheduling work (meaning that there are lots of threads and processes contending for the same cores). In some cases, we've even removed parallelism to speed things up. All browser vendors are looking hard at this problem and trying to optimize as best they can.

In terms of competition, I can speak for the whole Chrome team when I say that we think a healthy, vibrant, competitive browser ecosystem with lots of great choices is best for users and for us. We're excited to see FF improve and will keep working to improve our engine. Competition really does deliver outstanding results when it's allowed to work.

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