Eight million users download Firefox 3.0 on first day

Market share of new internet browser quadruples in 24 hours.

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By  Derek Francis Published  June 18, 2008

Firefox 3.0 stormed out of the blocks on its launch day on Tuesday, as over eight million people downloaded the latest version of the free-to-use Internet browser on its first day of release.

All in all, 8.3 million copies of the browser were downloaded over the first 24 hours, according to Mozilla CEO John Lilly. But the launch did experience its share of problems, as Mozilla's download servers went offline for more than an hour, because of network congestion.

Unsurprisingly, the most number of downloads originated from the U.S., with over 2.6 million downloads. This was followed by Germany (662,000), Japan (403,000) and the UK (295,000). Other countries with large numbers included Canada (223,000), China (173,000), France (290,000) and the Middle East's only representative, Iran (250,000).

According to a web metrics company, Net Applications, Firefox 3.0 quadrupled its market share on Tuesday, peaking at 4.3% on Wednesday.

Mozilla had conducted a pre-launch campaign to encourage users to get the open-source browser on the first day, to set a Guinness World Record for the most number of downloads. The company has repeatedly said it wanted to beat its previous record of 1.6 million downloads of Firefox 2.0, which was released back in October 2006.

Among its many new features, Firefox 3.0 has simplified the bookmarking tool and incorporated an add-ons manager to allow users to download addition applications as desired. Mozilla also says that the new version loads webpages much quicker than its predecessor.

A more contentious improvement is the "smart location bar" - the new address bar also acts as a history bar, while automatically completing addresses and ranking the results.

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