Wednesday, 18 June 2008 13:12

Firefox 3 powers to a smashing download record

Mozilla has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams, receiving more than its hoped for 5 million downloads of Firefox 3 in less than 14 hours. So for the first day of the new browser's life, it's onward to 7 million!

The download record period officially began at 11.16am US Pacific Daylight Time on Tuesday.

A pre-publication check showed the count had reached 5,079,227.

Since there is no existing Guinness world record for downloads, there is no specific number that must be reached. Organisers were hoping to at least exceed the 1.6 million downloads of Firefox 2 on its launch day, and that was reached in five hours.

"We are currently serving almost 9,000 downloads a minute, which puts us on track to achieve 5-7 million downloads our first day of general availability," said Mozilla's Paul Kim in the organisation's blog at 3.26pm.

Hot spots accounting for more than 100,000 downloads include the US (over 2 million downloads), Canada, Brazil. the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Iran and China and japan.

Australia's doing well on a per-capita basis, with over 83,000 downloads.

The release of the new version seems likely to increase Firefox's market share. Mozilla's Blog of Metrics recently noted  "rapid adoption" of the release candidate along with continued growth of Firefox 2 usage.

What do the stats say? Find out on page 2 .

According to Net Applications, Firefox (all versions) took a 18.41 percent browser share in May 2008, compared with 73.75 for Internet Explorer and 6.25 for Safari. Firefox and Safari have both been gaining ground at the expense of Internet Explorer. Opera has also improved its share by a healthy proportion, but is still a distant fourth on 0.71 percent.

Firefox has a particularly strong following in Europe. According to XiTi Monitor, its average browser share across Europe for March 2008 was 28.8 percent.

XiTi Monitor also reports that Firefox has a 31.2 percent browser share in Oceania, which includes Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Key features of Firefox 3 include a 'smart' location bar which adapts to user preferences, page display that's two to three times faster than Firefox 2, security improvements, and an add-ons manager. In all, more than 15,000 improvements have been made.

Firefox 3 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Mozilla's GetFirefox site.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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