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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: 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.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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