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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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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!

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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