Today, Firefox launched an update to our crash protection feature to extend the amount of time Firefox will wait before terminating unresponsive plugins.
The crash protection feature, first introduced in Firefox 3.6.4, protects Windows and Linux users from crashes and freezes caused by third party plugins such as Flash and Silverlight. When a plugin crashes, users can reload the Web page to restart the plugin and continue browsing. When a plugin freezes, making the whole browser unresponsive, Firefox 3.6.4 terminates the unresponsive plugin after waiting 10 seconds. These changes were tested with a beta audience of close to one million users.
Following the release of Firefox 3.6.4 we heard from some users, mainly those using older computers, that they sometimes expect longer periods of non-responsiveness from plugins, especially with games. For these users the default timeout of 10 seconds was too short. To address this, we increased the amount of time Firefox waits for a plugin to respond before terminating it from 10 to 45 seconds. This change has been made in Firefox 3.6.6, which was released today as an automatic update for all users.