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Mozilla launched a special page in celebration of 1 billion user downloads of its popular Firefox browser.
Mozilla's popular third party browser flexes its muscle

Thanks to a strong release of Firefox 3.5, with millions of copies download in under a day, Mozilla has reached a major landmark in its quest to bring a free third-party full-standards browser to the masses.  Firefox reached 1 billion downloads on Friday.

The impressive figure encompasses all downloads of the browser since its release in 2004.  More interestingly,, an internet research firm, is reporting Firefox to have seized 47.9 percent of the market, jumping ahead of Internet Explorer, which it says has a combined marketshare of 39.4 percent for versions 6, 7, and 8.

More conservative StatCounter, another research firm, puts Mozilla's marketshare at 32 percent, while putting Internet Explorer's at just about 60 percent.  Both firms' figures are suspect due to inherent difficulties in determining true browser marketshare.  Most firms collect metrics from a broad array of sites, but even collecting from as many as 1,000 sites two firms may show great differences in market pictures, due in part to different kinds of user populations for their surveyed sites.  Furthermore, W3School's analysis is mostly of tech-related websites, which are visited more by the kinds of users who would use alternative browsers at a higher rate.

Mozilla does have tough competition for the title of full-standards third-party browser king.  Opera, Google's Chrome, and Apple's Safari all strive for the title.  However, all of these competitors are dwarfed by Mozilla in the PC market, with a mere 5 percent of this total market, according to StatCounter.  Meanwhile Microsoft still enjoys a healthy lead of approximately 60 percent.

Firefox 3.5's popularity comes thanks largely to its strong support of standards.  Like Opera and others, Firefox features support for SVG graphics and other modern standards -- many of which are not supported by Internet Explorer 8's default install.  The browser also features brand new standards such as HTML 5, which is viewed as a possible non-proprietary successor to Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight rich web platforms.  HTML 5 features support for videos among other things.

Mozilla, Opera, and others should enjoy a healthy boost overseas if Microsoft's offer to include a ballot screen in Windows 7 is accepted by the EU.  The move, designed to fulfill antitrust compliance, would allow users to pick between IE 8, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari upon installation of Windows 7.

In honor of the billion dowloads mark, Mozilla has launched a new promotional website  It is also hard at work, preparing iterative updates 3.6 and 3.7, which showcase new themes.  It also is working on Firefox 4.0, which should raise the bar even higher.

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Come On!
By Trisagion on 8/3/2009 10:56:49 AM , Rating: 5
A Firefox article and no Firefox Girl? This is inexcusable. Now if Mozilla paid her to be the official mascot for Firefox, I'm sure they can reach 2 billion downloads in no time...

RE: Come On!
By orgy08 on 8/3/2009 11:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, I think she also needs a dedicated article with a full high rez photo galley.

RE: Come On!
By Flail on 8/3/2009 1:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
I know, right? She's so... Foxy.

RE: Come On!
By MrPoletski on 8/4/2009 5:45:14 AM , Rating: 1
I'd do her, why not have her nekkid on the default firefox welcome screen?;)

Good for them.
By 67STANG on 8/3/2009 10:57:24 AM , Rating: 3
I finally made the leap to using FireFox full time with 3.5 (ok, except for when I'm on SharePoint). This version is much faster than any of the previous versions, and once you download the "Homepage in New Tab" add-on, all of the annoyments are gone. Although, I would enjoy a "speed dial" type feature.

The other add-ons make this invaluable for web development projects as well. Good for you Mozilla.

RE: Good for them.
By Trisagion on 8/3/2009 11:01:36 AM , Rating: 4
Speedial? There's an add-on for that™.

RE: Good for them.
By Integral9 on 8/4/2009 8:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
There's an Add-on for that product and websites that were written by ...developers... and only work on IE. It's called IE Tab. Opens IE in a firefox tab.

Using statistics to skew usage
By Lord 666 on 8/3/2009 10:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh, the annoying browser war that just will not go away.

I use both IE and Firefox at the same time. Does that give one more market share over the other?

Wake me when Firefox can be managed via Group Policy.

RE: Using statistics to skew usage
By Yaos on 8/3/09, Rating: 0
RE: Using statistics to skew usage
By glennpratt on 8/3/2009 12:00:03 PM , Rating: 3
By mars777 on 8/4/2009 1:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, thanks for this.
Bad that it only ships with Flash as the only plugin for free.

The custom package maker is only at charge :(

We should see Mozilla do this by themselves if they want more market share in businesses.

Good news
By dark matter on 8/3/2009 11:26:08 AM , Rating: 2
I will be glad to see the back of IE.

Failing that, I am more than delighted that Mozilla has forced Microsofts hand into producing something semi-reasonable with IE8!

RE: Good news
By FaceMaster on 8/3/2009 11:37:32 AM , Rating: 1
Let's face it, most people here are just fanboys. I honestly can't see much difference between IE and firefox- if anything, IE is probably better since it's more compatible with the lesser known sites on the internet and it doesn't just randomly delete my favourites once in a while (This happened to my parent's PC as well).

It's nice to have a David and Goliath story, but in this case Goliath isn't that bad.

RE: Good news
By Yaos on 8/3/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good news
By Zingam on 8/3/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good news
By Suomynona on 8/3/2009 1:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
IE is more compatible with sites that were hand-designed to work with it's non-standard rendering. That's a result of IE's formerly huge marketshare, not of its superiority.

RE: Good news
By FaceMaster on 9/6/2009 11:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
Jeez, you could at least just say that IE is better in that department. So fr it's like 'Oh I prefer Firefox because they're the underdog! I hate IE because I like coding and it sucks for that!'

Well guess what, I just want to browse the internet with out problems, and IE does it best for me.

W3School is not a good source
By vash1522 on 8/4/2009 3:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
The 47 percent is JUST for the W3School website, they are NOT an internet research firm: Read below before googling random crap and calling it a source.

W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers.

These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users.

Anyway, our data, collected from W3Schools' log-files, over a five year period, clearly shows the long and medium-term trends.

RE: W3School is not a good source
By monomer on 8/4/2009 5:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if some ubiquitous site, such as Google, could put out information regarding what kind of browser share they are seeing. Google might lean a bit towards Firefox, and Bing would likely lean towards IE, as those are the default search providers for either browser, but with such huge numbers of unique users, they would be able to provide a clearer picture than what we have now.

Even with a 32% market share, though, its only a matter of time that Opera sues Mozilla to make them include an install option for the Opera browser with every Firefox download.

By thebrown13 on 8/3/2009 2:32:38 PM , Rating: 1
Good thing Mozilla is doing something worthwhile like replacing shitty HTML. Oh wait, they're not, that's Microsoft.

By sebmel on 8/4/2009 8:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's fracturing of the internet through proprietary standards and 'embrace and extend' is not in the least praiseworthy.

If you counted all the hours wasted worldwide having to write everything twice, once the right way and then the IE way, you have a serious waste of lives.

Cool HTML 5 demo
By sebmel on 8/4/2009 7:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Check this out in Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari... not sure if the laggardly IE will work.

By Zingam on 8/3/09, Rating: -1
RE: 3.5
By marsbound2024 on 8/3/2009 12:27:24 PM , Rating: 5
Did you download the MOST current update of 3.5 (3.5.1, I believe)? I haven't noticed any issues with mine.

RE: 3.5
By Cypherdude1 on 8/4/2009 3:50:31 AM , Rating: 3
Am I the only one who thinks that FF 3.5 kinda sux? It is slower sometimes and much more unstable than 3.0 on my PC! And it takes forever to load!!!

I have a dual-boot system, 98SE/XP Pro SP2. I use PartitionMagic to switch between them. Each O/S has its own partition. They do not share their O/S partitions and they cannot see each other. My system is, and I hesitate to admit this, 8 years old. LOL. I have an AMD T-Bird 1400 (yes, that's a single core if you can't remember), 1 GB RAM, and an ATI AGP 9550 video card. I don't play games on it anymore (obviously).

I use FireFox in Win98SE with no problems. I just installed FireFox 3.5.1 in XP Pro yesterday. Aside from the inconvenience of being forced to import and arrange my bookmarks on my bookmarks bar and re-enter all my passwords, I don't really have any problems. I do not have any noticeable increase in load times. I also haven't experienced any crashing problems... yet. Right now I have 12 FF3.5.1 tabs open in 2 windows. While FF3.5.1 does seem to take a huge amount of RAM, 173 MB's right now, I don't really care. XP Pro is almost as thrifty as 98SE and I have 579 MB's physical RAM available. CPU usage hovers at about 15%, occasionally jumping to 42% then returning to 15%.

With a single setting, I forced 98SE keep its swapfile at zero until available RAM drops to about 256 MB's (which never happens). I think I can do the same with XP Pro with certain Registry settings. I just have to look them up. I prefer my system use most of my physical RAM before using a slow swapfile since I paid for the RAM.

I haven't used FF3.5.1 more than about 12 hours. One thing I have noticed is an irritating hesitation with my M$ IntelliMouse when I pass it over the FF bookmark buttons. CPU usage also jumps during these passovers then returns to normal. This does not happen in 98SE FF2 or XP Pro's IE6. Otherwise, page loading speed is good.

Someone below mentioned how inefficient FF3.5.1's UI is. I configured both 2 & 3.5.1 UI's identically. They are compact, efficient, and have a lot of functionality. There are only 4 lines: 1) Menu + 14 small buttons with no text. 2) Address + search bar. 3) Buttons toolbar which has 5 folders + 17 individual buttons. 4) Tabs toolbar. I don't like the new "+" button on this toolbar because it's redundant and takes up space. I should have the option of removing it.

BTW, I installed FF 3.5.1 yesterday and today 3.5.2 just arrived! Very irritating.

RE: 3.5
By inperfectdarkness on 8/5/2009 4:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
how can anyone claim "market share" when there's people like me with 2 browsers installed? as far as that goes--IE & Firefox are both being supported by me.

RE: 3.5
By Icehearted on 8/3/2009 12:52:43 PM , Rating: 1
I've been having issues as well. particularly with slowness and stability. I was one of those guys that reluctantly came to Firefox from IE (a couple of years ago) because of it's better speed and stability, so this is quite puzzling.

I keep feeling as though the browser might be getting too bloated for it's own good.

RE: 3.5
By tayhimself on 8/3/2009 1:38:23 PM , Rating: 3
To both of you, make sure you haven't picked up a million extensions. I know Firebug causes some slowdowns. YMMV.

RE: 3.5
By ChronoReverse on 8/3/2009 2:30:17 PM , Rating: 2
Also try testing with a new clean profile

RE: 3.5
By Icehearted on 8/4/2009 1:46:23 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I've done a fresh install very recently, transferring only my passwords. I've also kept from using a whole lot of extensions, even switching them off to see if it helped, but it doesn't.

Something isn't working right for me, I just wish I knew what.

Oh, and don't get me wrong, I sing Firefox's praises to all that will listen, I'm just not happy with how it's been acting lately.

RE: 3.5
By smackababy on 8/3/2009 2:03:50 PM , Rating: 1
I actually have to use IE for some sites. Firefox just crashes, and I've no idea why.

RE: 3.5
By rs1 on 8/3/2009 3:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, I haven't bothered with Firefox since Chrome came out. Stability/performance issues aside, I just can't stand how much screen real-estate Firefox wastes with its UI. It easily eats up more than twice as much space as Chrome does showing its title-bar, menu-bar, needlessly stylized "Back" button, and tab headers. Really Firefox does no better than IE in this regard.

If it weren't for the handful of sites that only work in IE, I'd use Chrome for everything.

RE: 3.5
By MScrip on 8/3/2009 5:20:58 PM , Rating: 4
I just can't stand how much screen real-estate Firefox wastes with its UI.

At least you can customize Firefox to look however you want. I hate the tabs on top in Chrome... and I haven't found a way to to change that.

I've got my Firefox trimmed up as compact as I want. Sure, I can get 17 more pixels at the top of Chrome... and 24 pixels at the bottom because of the auto-hiding status bar in Chrome (which I also hate) but I still have 845 pixels of viewable space in Firefox... and a scroll wheel.

RE: 3.5
By Zshazz on 8/4/2009 6:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
Plus, if you're so concerned about viewable space, you'd use F11... in which case, the browser's viewable space is identical

RE: 3.5
By the3monkies on 8/4/2009 3:21:44 AM , Rating: 4
My FF 3.5 is slow to load as well, but that's because I've installed tons of add ons and extensions. Customizing the browser to do and look just as I want is much more important than saving a few seconds launch time.

And about Chrome. I just don't trust Google. They are becoming ever more intrusive, not only do they keep a detailed record of every search you've ever done so that they can target those dumb adds at you, I recently tried to open a GMail account and they asked me for my mobile phone number as part of the sign-up process! WTF is that all about?

RE: 3.5
By dark matter on 8/4/2009 5:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well you could just give a fake phone number.

If you are worried about Googles' intrusiveness then you may also wish to edit your hosts file to prevent any information being sent back to google when companies use Google Analytics on their website without telling you.

you will need to enter the following

This will be enough to stop them tracking you.

RE: 3.5
By ExarKun333 on 8/3/2009 4:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
You are not alone. FF 3.5 has been underwhelming, at best. I use Chrome for most browsing, and FF occasionally. IE has been pretty irrelevent for a long time (for me) outside of work, where I am not allowed to run anything else but IE. :P

RE: 3.5
By iamezza on 8/4/2009 2:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
For me 3.5 is far more stable, and the speed is slightly faster on sites with a lot of javascript.

I've had some problems from time to time with firefox and 90% of them have come from add-ons.

fine print
By Spivonious on 8/3/09, Rating: -1
RE: fine print
By MDE on 8/3/2009 11:20:23 AM , Rating: 5
Which is why they say "billionth download" in the article, not, "billionth Firefox user."

RE: fine print
By Spivonious on 8/3/2009 11:40:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but at first read I thought it was 1,000,000,000 downloads of Firefox 3.5, not all Firefox versions. I mean, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and all of the minor versions in between...I'm surprised they didn't hit a billion sooner.

RE: fine print
By MrPoletski on 8/3/2009 12:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
yeah lol, because a fifth of the entire planets population is using the interwebs.


RE: fine print
By Sazar on 8/3/2009 2:03:08 PM , Rating: 3
The population is approaching 7 billion isn't it? :D

Also, per further fine-print, it appears some downloads for things like patches are also being taken into account.

As an aside, 200 million downloads for IE8 thus far, with minimal advertising and what not online. I think Opera is also over 200 million but no idea about their mobile and Wii downloads.

Chrome should be getting a lot of downloads as well I would think.

RE: fine print
By ajfink on 8/3/2009 9:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
It was 6.75 as of July 2008, if I am correct. I think it's supposed to hit seven in 2011.

Also, the world population increases by approximately 220,000 a day. Random fact for you.

RE: fine print
By MrPoletski on 8/4/2009 5:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
hey, whatever, a BILLION is a big number lets all basque in it's meaningless and assume that it means so much more.

Lets just have a quick firefox moment... yup still my browser, yay!

RE: fine print
By nafhan on 8/3/2009 11:23:59 AM , Rating: 2
That's kind of understood, they're not attempting to say otherwise. It's a very impressive number, regardless.
Just guessing, but I've probably downloaded firefox over 100 times between loading it multiple times on multiple computers (3 home pc's and work) plus all the version updates since I started using it as a primary browser (I think it was called Firebird at that point).

RE: fine print
By Chocobollz on 8/4/2009 9:45:53 AM , Rating: 1
It's a very impressive number, regardless.

I don't tink it's impressive because it means nothing actually. Here we don't know if all that downloads also including "broken" download or not. And it is very easy to hit the 1 billion downloads, I can do that by using some download manager with automatic updating feature. When I see the title, first thing which comes to my mind is, "Like I would care?!" LOL, because it is simply too easy to manipulate and there's no rules as to count the downloads. So I'd just take it with a grain of salt.

Oh and yes, I use FF too (although occasionally :P).

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