Guinness bestows download record on Firefox

The official tally of Firefox downloads surpassed 8 million. Sounds like the Download Day PR stunt hit pay dirt.

The de facto registrar of superlative achievements has credited Mozilla for officially setting a record for downloads in a 24-hour period: 8,002,530 copies of Firefox.

Mozilla's Download Day on June 17, whose server-crippling success delayed its official start , sought to popularize the open-source Web browser. Mozilla, which oversees the Firefox project, projected at the time that it cleared 8 million , but the number is now official.

"As the arbiter and recorder of the world's amazing facts, Guinness World Records is pleased to add Mozilla's achievement to our archives," Gareth Deaves, Guinness' records manager, said in a statement.

Though Download Day was a big publicity stunt, it's hard to sniff with too much disdain at the total. To me at least it indicates that people see more in this particular browser than just a bundle of bits to surf the Web; they like its technology, its open-source nature or other attributes, and downloading and using it is an event somewhat akin to suffering in line for hours for rock show tickets or to buy an iPhone.

I'm skeptical that Download Day in and of itself will appreciably shift Firefox's market share results in the short term. But it did probably coax people toward a more modern browser, which Web site operators probably are happy to see, and I wouldn't be surprised if Mozilla managed to sign up more Firefox fanboys through its promotional devices.

Also for the record, Net Applications gave Firefox 3 2.31 percent market share for the entire month of June, compared with 4.28 percent for Safari 3.1, 16.13 percent for Firefox 2, 26.38 percent for Internet Explorer 6, and 46.45 percent for No. 1 IE 7. The statistics are based on actual usage at various major search engines. Because Firefox 3 was released midway through June, the statistics likely will show significantly greater share for it in July.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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