Mozilla confirms over 5 million Firefox 4 downloads in 24 hours

OPEN SOURCE browser developer Mozilla has confirmed that Firefox 4 has smashed the download ‘record’ recently set by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9.

Last week Microsoft proudly proclaimed that its Internet Explorer 9 web browser had been downloaded over 2.3 million times within 24 hours, however by this morning Mozilla’s Firefox 4 download counter had passed the 4 million mark and Mozilla has just confirmed that over 5 million downloads have been logged within 24 hours.

Mozilla’s Firefox 4 is the first major release of the popular open source web browser in two years and it brings significant performance improvements along with user interface tweaks.

Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe said, “We are thrilled to have surpassed the five million download mark within the first 24 hours of launching. Together with the global community of volunteers, we are proud to be able to provide Web users with the best possible browser experience with a faster, safer and more modern version of Firefox.”

At press time Mozilla’s representatives came back to tell us that the latest download count was just under 6.5 million within 24 hours, however with so many downloads of Firefox 4 still being requested the final 24 hour figure won’t be confirmed for few hours yet.

We can easily imagine that early Firefox 4 downloads might surpass 10 million, over four times those of IE9, possibly within the first 24 hours, or almost certainly, shortly thereafter.

We wonder why Microsoft was so desperate to reveal initial Internet Explorer 9 download figures so quickly. The rollout of Internet Explorer 9 will pick up the pace once it is stuffed into the Vole’s Software Update channel, but either Microsoft underestimated the popularity of Firefox or it simply scored an own goal by publicising its initial figures so early.

Mozilla’s Firefox 4 is available for all the major operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, whereas Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 only works on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Microsoft might find that instead of its users upgrading their operating systems to get Internet Explorer 9, they will simply try the other alternatives. In which case, Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, Opera and especially Mozilla’s Firefox 4 might be in line for increases in market share.