With over 7 million downloads and counting, Firefox 4 looks on track to match, and possibly surpass, the launch of Firefox 3. Firefox 3, which was released in 2008, saw some 8 million downloads in its first 24 hours and earned Mozilla a Guinness World Record for number of downloads in a 24-hour period.
Yesterday’s launch of Firefox 4 lacked the “download day” publicity stunt aspect of its predecessor — perhaps because, despite the record setting numbers, the launch of Firefox 3 brought Mozilla’s servers down and caused upgrade delays for many users — but that hasn’t stopped Firefox fans from upgrading in a hurry.
Firefox 4 is also likely the last time we’ll see a big release like this from Mozilla. The company is transitioning to a rolling release schedule like that of Google Chrome — less fanfare perhaps, but with more features arriving in less time.
Internet Explorer 9, which also launched with much fanfare this month saw 2.35 million downloads in the first 24 hours, according to a press release from Microsoft.
Of course all of these numbers are meaningless in the long run, what really matters is that the web has two new, much-improved web browsers. That means developers can start using more of the new tools in HTML5 and users will find the web a faster, more exciting place.