Firefox 3 Hammers Records... That Never Existed

Dennis Faas's picture

Our own Ian Paul recently reported the release of Firefox 3, the much anticipated new web browser from Mozilla. After some time in circulation, it's receiving some very impressive reviews and equally impressive download numbers: 8.3 million copies the first day.

The staggering download numbers have attracted the good people of Guinness World Records, although the record still needs to be verified, which could take a few days. Impressive? Not when you consider that Guinness has never before recorded such a record, and it took Mozilla needling them for anyone to take much notice.

Still, it's hard for anyone to dismiss 233 downloaded copies of the new web browser every second. Mozilla obliterated its goal of 5 million by nearly double.

Of course, there are those that challenge the record's legitimacy. Last year, Adobe executives bragged to the media that their new Flash Player 9 was being installed at the rate of 12 million a day, far higher than Firefox's 8.3 million. (Source:

Record or not, Mozilla has to be pleased with a web browser that is skyrocketing in popularity. By comparison, the last Firefox edition from the underdog company sold just 1.6 million copies its first day in release.

There's still work to be done for Mozilla's Firefox (18 per cent market share), which continues to languish behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser (74 per cent). Still, like its first day downloads, Mozilla's piece of the pie continues to get bigger and bigger with each new edition (14 to 18 per cent in the last year alone).

So, has the new Firefox really got the goods to compete in the future with Microsoft? It's main improvements, at least, those touted by Mozilla's John Lilly, include increased performance (speed) and customization options. The first is fairly straight-forward, but the latter requires some discussion. In a recent post, Computerworld outlined some of these prominent new features, including the integration of LinkedIn information (allowing you to peruse fellow colleagues' backgrounds quickly and easily). There's also the Google Preview, which allows users to view a page through a small window once they receive their search results. Both interface improvements tow the line of Firefox 3's main offering by improving the speed of their browser (in this way, through its ease-of-use). (Source:

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