Originally Posted by skagon
Guys, seriously... calm down.
There's no hidden conspiracy, nor greedy "managers", nor anything else behind 32- vs 64-bit browsers. In reality, as far as website rendering is concerned (in other words, server-side), there is absolutely ZERO difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit build of a browser.
Firefox (32-bit) and Waterfox (64-bit) will do the exact same job visually and functionally, with absolutely ZERO provisions or customisation from the website.
The differences between Fire- and Water-fox are on the end-user side. Waterfox is not limited to just 2GB of address space and also benefits from modern x86 CPU SIMD instruction sets, because it is built to take advantage of them, while Firefox is built to "compatibility level" so that it can be run even on a Pentium 4 (and maybe even older). Moreover, Waterfox is built using the Intel compiler extensively, which is known to generate more efficient and optimised binaries, compared to Microsoft's Visual Studio, which Mozilla is using for Firefox.
Once again, while Waterfox will run faster and smoother than Firefox, there is no difference in how the two browsers (or should I say, the one browser) handle web content.
For the record, Internet Explorer has been fully 64-bit since I-don't-know-when and nobody noticed (meaning, from those few that still use that abomination). That goes to answer the argument that "the internet is not ready for 64-bit browsers"; the full answer being "the internet is (as it should be) platform-agnostic".
Rather than conspiracy theories, I believe that the "error" pages and notifications witnessed by many of us were not signs of some conspiracy, profiteering or incompatibility, but rather the combination of sloppy programming utilising the User Agent string breakdown and over-zealous web developers trying to cover their collective arses, notifying users that their (unidentified due to programming error) browser is outdated.
In effect, instead of busting Alex's balls, we should be sending e-mails to the support of the problematic websites, requesting that they rectify their error and correct the client detection code, since the "bug" is server-side.