Launched in 2004 as a lighter weight offshoot of the Mozilla browser, Firefox hit its first 100 million downloads in only one year. In 2006 it doubled in popularity, reaching 200 million downloads. Now it's doubled its downloads again in one year.
Firefox's marketing website Spread Firefox describes its attraction as delivering better web browsing or, in its words,
"...a Web that didn't overwhelm them with pop-ups, a Web that didn't infect their systems with viruses and spyware, a Web that was fun again, simply put, a Web that worked."
Announcing this milestone, it continues:
"...Firefox has reached 400 million downloads and demonstrated that not even the world's most powerful companies can keep people from a better, safer, and faster Web experience."
Of course 400 million downloads doesn't translate to 400 million users, because Firefox regularly releases new, more secure versions, so each Firefox user might download new versions several times over the years. However, many other Firefox users never download the software at all. Most of the major Linux distributions include Firefox, and that's in fact how this writer acquires Firefox, along with Mandriva.
W3Counter estimates Firefox market share at over 25 per cent, but Janco places Firefox at only 17.4 per cent market share. Even Janco admits, however, that the Vole's Internet Explorer market share lost 9.6 per cent last year, falling to 63.9 per cent market share. µ
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