Firefox 45 terminates Tab Groups

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Use an add-on instead, says browser maker

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Mozilla today released Firefox 45, fulfilling a promise to drop the browser's Tab Groups feature.

Tab Groups, formerly Panorama, lets Firefox users organize multiple websites -- illustrated as open tabs -- within sets, then quickly access those URLs in a visual interface. Mozilla debuted Panorama in Firefox 4, which shipped nearly five years ago.

Earlier, Mozilla said it was dropping Tab Groups because few were using the tool. The open-source developer reiterated that Tuesday.

"We're always looking for new ways to improve Firefox. Part of that process sometimes means that we need to remove features that aren't used very much or support for platforms that are going away," Mozilla said in a company blog. "This lets us concentrate our resources on finding new ways to delight Firefox users."

Mozilla has been on a retrenchment kick, backing off not just individual features but entire projects. In December, for example, Mozilla announced it was shutting down its multi-year smartphone-aimed Firefox OS initiative; last month it said it would transfer some of that technology to a new "Internet of things" project.

Firefox users who don't care to kick the Tab Groups habit should install one of several add-ons that replicate the feature, Mozilla said in a support document. The company highlighted one and listed several others.

Firefox 45 also sports an improved beta of Hello, the browser's built-in page-sharing service, and changed how pages synchronized from other Firefox-equipped devices appear.

Mozilla patched more than 40 separate vulnerabilities in Firefox with the update to version 45, with 14 devoted to fixing critical bugs in the Graphite 2 font library the browser uses.

Firefox 45 can be downloaded for Windows (32- or 64-bit), OS X or Linux (32- or 64-bit.) Current Firefox users will automatically receive the upgrade.

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