Microsoft says a record more than 1 million copies of its Internet Explorer 4.0 Web browser have been downloaded since it launched Tuesday night.
The company said that number set a record demand for any Microsoft product in this amount of time. The figure does not include downloads from 20 partner sites that also offer IE 4.0, the company added.
The more than 1 million downloads amounted to at least six copies per second.
Traffic to Microsoft's Web site had been surging as the much-anticipated release date neared. On September 30 alone, the company recorded 1.5 million visits to the site. Microsoft also reiterated that 200,000 people had ordered IE 4.0 on CD-ROM.
Although Microsoft said it has increased the capacity of its Web servers, users have complained about congestion and busy signals at the Web site. The company boosted its site's download capacity to 6.1 terabytes, which would allow about 450,000 browser downloads a day, a spokeswoman said. However, throughout this week, the site was jammed with traffic from users looking for the software, many unable to get in.
Internet Explorer 4.0, released Tuesday after five months of beta testing, is Microsoft's attempt to make the browser wars irrelevant. By building IE 4.0 into Windows, Microsoft hopes to make the browser just another utility that comes with the operating system. That integration won't truly happen until Microsoft ships Windows 98 next year, but the release of IE 4.0 for Windows 95 is a major step in that direction.
Netscape Communications dominates the browser market, but Microsoft thinks IE 4.0 will give it more than a 50 percent market share.
A survey of 279 corporate users released earlier this week by Zona Research shows Netscape's Navigator remains the leading browser with a 62 percent share, compared with a 36 percent share for Microsoft's IE. Explorer's share has risen to 36 percent from 3 percent in the past 18 months, the survey shows.