Today, Mozilla launched a new website celebrating one billion Firefox downloads. The big event happened last Thursday night, according to the company’s official download counter reported on internet browser newsgroups.
This 1 billion figure includes users downloading multiple copies for different computers in addition to manual downloads for upgrading purposes, although automatic updates and downloads from USENET newsgroups are not counted. It makes one wonder how long before it would hit the 1 billion mark if newsgroup downloads of the software were counted since 2004.
“This is a monumental event – Firefox has come a long way since its debut in November 2004, thanks to the amazing Firefox community,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post. “Volunteers from all over the world contribute to the coding, testing and spreading of Firefox to communities across the globe.”
The fact that Mozilla has recorded one billion Firefox downloads by itself doesn’t prove the Web browser has become a formidable competitor to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It’s Firefox’s reputation for superior security, rapid patching of security holes and its multitude of browser extentions that has allowed it to win converts among corporate and personal Web users.
Firefox more or less holds 31% of the market share, second only to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer who is seeing their 60% grip loosening by the day. Other browsers such as Opera, Chrome and Safari have a lot of work to do if they were to catch up.