Firefox Down

Mozilla's grand campaign to get a record number of downloads in a 24 hour period, for the release of Firefox 3.0 took a knock yesterday, after demand for the new version of the browser crashed Mozilla's servers

Tags: BrowserFirefoxMozilla Foundation
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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 18, 2008

Mozilla's grand campaign to get a record number of downloads in a 24 hour period, for the release of Firefox 3.0 took a knock yesterday, after demand for the new version of the browser crashed Mozilla's servers.

The organization was aiming for a record five million downloads of the beta, but a two-hour outage looks to have just snatched that target from their grasp. That said, the Mozilla campaign site is currently showing 4.9 million downloads, which is pretty impressive number for a beta download.

For what its worth - by a rough bit of maths, download numbers in the Gulf don't quite reach a disappointingly low 10,000, while Iran has clocked up a massive 167,000.

The outage might just be a minor hiccup in the long term uptake of Firefox, but I'd say that Mozilla need to be a bit more cautious about this launch than perhaps they have been so far. There's a lot of goodwill around for Firefox, but if the browser is really going to take a proper bite out of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, then Mozilla need to realize that they aren't just speaking to the fans anymore, but a mass market that isn't technical and won't be very forgiving if they make mistakes.

A minor outage on download day is one thing, but heavily promoting a beta is another. I use a mix of Firefox and IE 6 - IE 7 didn't agree with my home PC and got the boot - so I'm happy to give Firefox 3.0 a test flight as 'default' browser. I've hit a few minor snags so far, nothing major, but I'm always wary of beta status. All it would take is one bad security problem, and Mozilla would be facing a PR nightmare - when it comes to the broader market, mistakes can cost market share that can't be clawed back easily.

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