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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 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.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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