Firefox Reaches One Billion Downloads [UPDATED]
Once the plucky underdog in the browser battle, Mozilla’s Firefox is today the second most popular browser worldwide, after Internet Explorer.
Since it was first released in November 2004, the browser has succeeded not just in dislodging Microsoft’s (MSFT) IE from its dominant market position, but in proving that an open-source project can become a widely used consumer application. Now, it is fast approaching its billionth download and is likely to hit that milestone this afternoon.
As of this writing, Mozilla’s Firefox Download Counter is showing 999,935,615, with upward of 20 downloads every second. Though that number is for downloads-to-date, not active users, it’s still an impressive one and says a lot about the mindshare Firefox has managed to capture in a relatively short time against a rival that’s bundled with the most ubiquitious operating system on the planet.
As Mozilla CEO John Lilly told me this morning, “It’s a billion votes–a billion intentional decisions–for people to take control of how they interact with the Web. We–the whole Mozilla community, really–are really proud to have been part of building a product that’s been downloaded so many times, but more importantly, we’re all proud to have helped people take more control over their online lives by making intentional decisions.”
UPDATE: Mozilla tells me Firefox hit the one billion downloads mark at 7:47 am PDT/10:47 am EDT.
Below, Lilly and Mozilla chairman Mitchell Baker in an interview with Walt Mossberg at our recent D7 conference: