Mozilla's Firefox 4 bags 1M downloads in 3 hours
New open-source browser off to strong start
Computerworld - Firefox 4 got off to a strong start today, with 1 million copies of the new browser downloaded in the first three hours.
If it keeps up the early pace, Firefox 4 will easily beat Microsoft's claim that users downloaded 2.4 million copies of its Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) in the first 24 hours of availability last week.
Although Firefox 4's out-of-the-gate download tally was impressive, Mozilla executive Mike Beltzner said that it was behind the launch numbers of Firefox 3.6, which shipped in January 2010. During the first three hours, downloads averaged between 5,000 and 6,000 copies per minute, less than half the 12,000-per-minute pace of the previous version.
At around 9 a.m. PT Beltzner noted that it was just the start of the day on the west coast of the U.S., and noon on the east. He encouraged users to hit Mozilla's download servers.
"What better way to spend your break than by downloading Firefox 4," said Beltzner during a live Webcast hosted by Mozilla.
Mozilla has posted a real-time download calculator on its site.
When the new browser reached one million downloads, Mozilla developers and employees rang cowbells, cheered, and watched as someone dressed in a Firefox mascot costume danced around the room.
Tuesday's release marked the end of more than a year of development by Mozilla, which issued the first "alpha" edition of the browser in February 2010. Firefox 4 was originally scheduled to ship last November, but bugs and other delays forced it to announce in October that it would instead wrap up development early this year.
The code designated as final today was identical to Firefox 4 Release Candidate 2 (RC2), a last-minute update that Mozilla issued last Friday.
Mozilla's Firefox 4 was the second major upgrade shipped by browser makers in just over a week. On March 14, Microsoft launched the final version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9).
Firefox 4 features a new tab manager, dubbed "Panorama," boasts an overhauled interface that resembles Chrome's minimalist design, and supports GPU acceleration to boost page composition speeds.
Hardware acceleration has become a point of contention between Mozilla and Microsoft. The latter has touted IE9 as the only browser to "fully hardware accelerate the entire Web platform," while Mozilla has criticized its rival for abandoning Windows XP users. IE9 runs only on Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Microsoft today again defended that decision.
"The developer community has been vocal that they want to push the Web forward," a Microsoft spokesman said in an e-mail. "The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on and a browser running on a ten-year-old operating system tethers the Web to the past. The time has come to stop focusing on lowest common denominator, and to really push what's possible with innovations like full hardware acceleration."
Some Mozilla developers have used stronger words to describe Microsoft's argument that IE9 is the best browser on Windows.
"Microsoft's message that IE9 is the apex of what a browser can do with the GPU is nonsense," said Robert O'Callahan, a New Zealand employee of Novell who works full time on Mozilla's graphics infrastructure. In a post to his personal blog, O'Callahan said, "Microsoft's PR about 'full hardware acceleration' is a myth."
Mozilla technology evangelist Asa Dotzler was even more blunt. "Microsoft, stop making bull**** claims about hardware acceleration," Dotzler titled a post to his personal blog two weeks ago.
Users can download Firefox 4 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Mozilla's site.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Google reverses field, promises to restore Chrome's scrollbar arrows
- Update: Google ships Chrome 33, patches 28 bugs
- Mozilla's top exec defends in-Firefox ads, revenue search
- Mozilla taps in-Firefox ads as it searches for more revenue
- Mozilla ships Metro Firefox beta for Windows 8
- Mozilla defers Firefox's new 'Australis' UI to April
- Mozilla resets Metro Firefox ship date to mid-March
- Mozilla ships Firefox 26 with opening click-to-play move
- Mozilla banked $274M in '12 from Google-Firefox search deal
- Google trumpets Chrome's SPDY gains
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts