In addition to setting a new Guinness World record last month (for the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours), Mozilla FireFox has achieved a new landmark. On Friday, 31 July 2009, the World’s most popular open-source Internet browser achieved its one billionth download just ahead of the release of its latest version i.e. FireFox 4.0. This latest milestone is not a mere feat considering the fact that the software was originally launched in 2004.
The total amount of downloads was calculated by adding the all FireFox’s downloads since inception including those manually installed by the same users on one or more computers. It is no longer a secret that FireFox has been Microsoft Internet Explorers (MIE) main rival in recent years boasting of almost a third of the Internet browser market Worldwide although MIE still has about 60% of the market while Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera all share a mere 5%. Notwithstanding, Microsoft cannot afford to rest on its laurels especially if the recent demand by the European competition regulators that the Internet Explorer should no longer be pre-bundled with the Windows operating system should stand as such a ruling might see other browsers particularly FireFox gaining the upper hand in the browser market.
Although no date has been announced yet for the release of FireFox 4.0, the latest Mockups released by Mozilla developers suggests it would bear some resemblance the the Google Chrome’s Internet browser which is not necessarily a good idea.