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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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By Zingam on 8/3/2009 11:51:53 AM , Rating: -1
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!!!
FF 3.5 makes me feel as if I'm using IE.

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.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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