Firefox 3.0 smashes target with 8m downloads

Mozilla says Firefox's market share has exceeded 4 percent, after the third version of the open-source browser was downloaded 8,349,074 times on launch day


Mozilla logged more than 8 million downloads of the latest version of its web browser in 24 hours, the company claims.

Firefox 3.0 was downloaded 8,349,074 times between 5:16pm GMT on Tuesday and 5:16pm GMT on Wednesday - more Firefox downloads than the company has ever had in one day, according to a Mozilla website tracking the browser's first-day download process.

In a blog posting, Mozilla CEO John Lily said Firefox's browser market share grew to about 4 percent worldwide after Download Day, citing a link to statistics collected and maintained by web statistics and analytics company Net Applications. The latest stats put Firefox's share of the market at 4.6 percent.

Mozilla had been spreading the word about its attempt to achieve a software downloads 'World Record' for several weeks. The company asked Firefox devotees to join like-minded souls at 'Firefox parties' to encourage widespread downloads, while Firefox Affiliate Buttons are available for website publishers to place on their sites.

People in about 200 countries downloaded Firefox 3.0, with the US leading the pack for number of downloads. The other countries in the top 10 for Firefox 3 downloads were, in order, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, France, Iran, Italy, Canada and Poland.

In comparison to Firefox 3.0's 8 million downloads, Firefox 2.0 was downloaded 1.6 million times in its first 24 hours of release; to date, it has been downloaded more than half a billion times, according to Mozilla. There was no Download Day fanfare surrounding Firefox 2's release, however.

Mozilla is now awaiting review by the Guinness judges to see if its goal was accomplished, according to the Download Day website. There is currently no record for the number of software downloads in 24 hours; Mozilla's would be the first.

Despite its eventual success, Firefox 3 Download Day didn't go off without a hitch. Interest in the endeavour crippled Mozilla's servers on Tuesday, so the US part of the download process started around 8pm GMT - two hours later than originally planned - when Mozilla's site wouldn't work properly.

The European leg of the effort began a little more than an hour later than planned and marked the start of the download-logging process. There were no more problems reported once the US site was back up and running.

In his blog post, Lily provided details for how Mozilla's network performed on Download Day. The network at its peak served 17,000 downloads per minute, or 283 per second, and had sustained download rates in excess of 4,000 a minute, he said.

With additional reporting from Oliver Garnham

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