Firefox Tops 200 Million Downloads

The Mozilla Corporation on Monday celebrated the 200 millionth download of its open source Firefox Web browser, with the community planning parties to commemorate the event. The milestone was hit one year and nine months after the debut of Firefox 1.0.

Hitting the 200 million mark does not mean Firefox has that many users, as the download count includes both Firefox 1.0 and version 1.5. In addition, users may have downloaded the browser multiple times, or the download may not have been completed. Still, Mozilla is touting the number as a big step forward.

"200 million people seeking Firefox is a huge accomplishment and we're right to celebrate our role in driving that number," said Mozilla engineer Asa Dotzler. "Congratulations to every single person who made Firefox the success it is today."

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The results are clearly evident: Firefox has passed 15 percent usage in the United States, according to statistics from Web analytics firm OneStat.com. The alternative browser is also gaining ground against Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer overseas. Firefox has a 39 percent market share in Germany and a 24 percent share in Australia.

"Going forward, I'd also like to find a better way for our community to measure its success," added Dotzler. "At Mozilla, we've developed a much better system for measuring users than what we had when the counter launched back in the Firefox 1.0 days."

Mozilla is gearing up to launch Firefox 2.0, which will compete with Microsoft's upcoming Internet Explorer 7 release. Both browsers are currently in beta and have received positive reviews from users. IE7 has been bolstered with improved security and built-in tabbed browsing, while Firefox 2.0 brings new phishing protection and better RSS support.

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