Mozilla is looking hard at questions regarding a 64-bit Windows build of Firefox. This is progress. This is good.
Adobe finally released a 64-bit Flash player for Linux. A Windows version isn’t here yet, but they promise they’re working on it. I’m perfectly happy without Flash, but the majority of people aren’t. Lack of a 64-bit Flash is probably the biggest thing keeping Web browsers in the 32-bit age.
To me, the biggest issue is the lack of 64-bit plugins. Memory usage is less of a pressing issue, since 64-bit systems have so much more of it available. Speed is a problem that can be solved over the long term. I’m of the opinion that any 64-bit web browser that can give people the capability they have now in 64 bits will make them happy. Optimizations can follow in subsequent releases.
Personally, the lack of a 64-bit non-IE browser and plugins is the reason I’m still running 32-bit Windows. Everyone else in the house needs to be able to do what they’re used to doing, and they don’t want to bother making sure they’re running the right browser. I’ll buy a new AMD64 motherboard and install 64-bit Windows 7 when I have a browser to run on it. I see no point in buying one right now–unless I lose a motherboard suddenly, of course–and just sitting on it. Whether it’s 3 months or 6 months or 12 months from now that 64-bit browsers become available, I’ll get more CPU for my money in the future than right now.
If you do already have a 64-bit system and don’t mind the lack of plugins–a vocal minority see lack of Flash as something desirable, after all–there’s always Pale Moon. And I suppose one could run 32-bit Firefox and 64-bit Pale Moon to avoid some confusion. Firefox for sites that require it, Pale Moon for everything else.