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Firefox 38 arrives with a new preferences tab, DRM support, and more

Firefox 38 arrives with a new preferences tab, DRM support, and more

by AshwinMay 13, 2015

Mozilla has updated the stable version of its browser to Firefox 38.0.


The main change in the update is that, Firefox 38 arrives with a new preferences tab.

Yes, it is a tab now, and is called the Preferences tab. No prized for guessing which browser was the inspiration behind it, Google Chrome. Clicking on the options button from the menu in Firefox 38.0, opens a new tab called “about:preferences”.

This is what the new options tab in Firefox 38 looks like:


In comparison, this is what the options window looked prior to version 38.Mozilla-Firefox-37-Old-Options-Panel

As you can see, the Tabs option from the old options panel, has been merged in to the General section in the new preferences tab. The rest of the sections remain the same in the new preferences tab.


Digital rights management (DRM), the technology used to prevent privacy of Digital Media, has been added to Mozilla Firefox, in the form of Adobe¬†Content Decryption Module (CDM). While other browsers use HTML5 for DRM protected content, Firefox did not. Popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and even Microsoft Internet Explorer all support HTML 5. Mozilla didn’t, but it had little choice. Popular services like Netflix, require plugins like Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight to play DRM protected content.

Mozilla announced last year, that it would begin supporting CDM, and it has done so, reluctantly. This is what Denelle Dixon-Thayer, the Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs at Mozilla had to say in a blog post.

“We don’t believe DRM is a desirable market solution, but it’s currently the only way to watch a sought-after segment of content,”

It will work on Firefox for Windows Vista and above. Mozilla has added an extra layer of security to ensure that CDM doesn’t cause any ill-effects, and media which uses the plugin will run isolated in a sandbox.

Once the user installs Firefox 38, CDM will be automatically downloaded, when a DRM protected media is accessed.

Users can disable CDM from the new preferences tab. Just navigate to Menu > Options > Content and uncheck ” Play DRM content”. You can even download a version of Firefox which is free from CDM.

Computer World observes that Firefox 38 fixes over a dozen security issues, including some critical ones. You can read the full release notes here. Download Firefox 38  for Windows, OS X and Linux from the official Mozilla website.

Note: CDM is only available for the Windows version of Firefox, and does not work on OS X and Linux.