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Firefox 2 Downloads Top 2 million in 24 Hours 295

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the in-demand dept.
linuxci writes "Firefox 2.0 has had over two million downloads in 24 hours with a peak rate of over 30 downloads a second. This means Firefox is well on track to beat IE7's three million in four days. Of course stats don't equal users but it's interesting to see that the demand for Firefox is currently outstripping IE."
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Firefox 2 Downloads Top 2 million in 24 Hours

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  • by Darwin_Frog (232520) <ahotchin@bealin s t i t u t e . o rg> on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:42AM (#16621990)
    After all, I never downloaded the final release since I already had RC3 and nothing changed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Chosen Reject (842143)
      For that matter what about Ubuntu 6.10 which comes with it preinstalled?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BeeBeard (999187)
        And what about all the Slashdot readers who swamped Mozilla's mirrors a day in advance and downloaded the thing? ;)

        - An RC3 user
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tOaOMiB (847361)
        Alright, they're up to 2,000,003.

        Or as a serious guyss, 2,050,000. I mean, come on guys. How many people really downloaded RC3? Or use Ubuntu? When we're talking about downloads in the millions, we're talking about what normal people are doing. The stats of nerds don't significantly contribute.
  • by linuxci (3530) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:42AM (#16621994)
    For those that didn't know Firefox 2 RC3 was the same release as the final 2.0 so people who had already downloaded the release candidate didn't need to download the final (Help > About shows the build number and they're identical). This is usual with Mozilla releases, the release candidates are actual candidates for release (unlike MS) so the final RC usually becomes the real release.

    So people with RC3 don't count in these stats unless they didn't realise and downloaded 2.0 again.
  • by scuba_steve_1 (849912) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:47AM (#16622032)
    ...an integrated spell checker for all HTML text form fields.

    Plus, it's a relatively trim download, so cheers to the dev team for that.
    • Best part about the spell checker is (at least in my English/United kingdom dictionary) it thinks Firefox is misspelt.
      It gives options for firebox and Fire fox.

      There are other oddities in this dictionary which will no doubt be ironed out.
      • It would be nice if the spell checker could have a toggle to check the ENTIRE web page. Would be useful when I'm making web pages.
      • It would be smarter if it didn't use a whole new dictionary in addition to the ones users inevitable have for other applications.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      ... except it does not use my os x custom dictionary, so for me it is a lot less useful than safari.
  • As soon as Microsoft Update downloads and installs IE7 [microsoft.com] on every Windows machine with automatic updates enabled, this race will be over.

    • by Reziac (43301) *
      I had a similar thought: how many of the rash of IE7 downloads were done by Windows automatic update? I'd guess the majority, since most average-users don't have any idea that you can switch your browser, let alone where updates come from.

      • by k_187 (61692)
        nope, it hasn't been put up on windows update yet, so all of the IE7 downloads were people voluntarily downloading it.
        • by Reziac (43301) *
          Oh, okay. I thought I heard that IE7 would be pushed out by WU as of last Tuesday, but maybe not. I don't use IE so I don't really pay that much attention. :)

        • This is a good point, and something I have been monitoring on my company's online banking site:

          Msie 7.0 105535 hits 4.1 %

          Firefox 2.0 6694 hits 0.2 %

          Firefox 1.5.0.7 96935 hits 3.8 %

          Stats are for the last few days, since FF 2.0 was out.

          Being an online banking site, I figure the users are as "Joe six-pack" or "My Grandma" or "Insert home user stereotype here" as they get. I wish Microsoft was holding off another month because I would LOVE to see how this plays out when people have to take extra effor

          • Before the grammer Nazi's hit me, I ment Mac, not Max. Forget forms spell-check, where is the grammer check? And while I'm looking for that, where is the "Edit Comment" button? ;)
    • Windows 2k can have automatic updates, but you won't see IE7 getting there, because IE7 is only for XP and above.

      Btw. Ubuntu was recently updated to 6.10 version, with Firefox 2.0 included. I got my Firefox from there and I supposed that doesn't count.
  • by bgfay (5362) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:52AM (#16622076) Homepage
    I downloaded IE7 on one of my school's computers. It took a little while to download, took a long time to install, required a reboot of the computer, and I've used it twice so far. To be fair, I wasn't an IE user before IE7 and don't have a lot of interest in using it now. I downloaded it out of curiosity.

    I downloaded Firefox 2.0 on two machines at home and eighteen machines at work. It downloaded very quickly, installed even faster, and did not require a reboot. It also installed over my old version, asked if I wanted to check for updates to extensions, and moved all my bookmarks over. (IE7 might have done this too, but I didn't check.)

    All in all, Firefox is easier, has a cleaner layout, and just plain works. Way to go Firefox. What a great program.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You have to be kidding or blind. Use what works the best, but always reevaluate when the variables change. If we didn't we'd still be using netscape 4. Ie 7 is a huge upgrade and much much better than the previous edition FF2 is more like IE 5 in terms of improvement over the previous edition. IE looks better and has some features that Firefox really could use( the button that shows all tabs in single window and the ease of choosing a bookmarked site). Its pretty sweet. But for my money, Opera wins. it s
  • In a fair fight Firefox would come out at least even and probably ahead. But Firefox can't push itself onto people's desktops through Windows Update or come as the default browser in Vista. Unless you pay people to use it, its "game over" before things really get started.
  • by eneville (745111) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:00AM (#16622132) Homepage
    i preferred phoenix anyways
  • I installed it and instantly hated the "visual refresh". Install this theme [cdburnerxp.se] which restores the 1.5 look and feel. Once this was done I found disappointing. For me the annoyances introduced in 2.0 are outweighing the things I like about it.

    The GTK matching on Linux is not very good, with glitches surrounding button sizes and positioning of text (the new "add ons" combi-dialog is horrible) and with strange button focusing.

    One thing I will say for it is it does seem a bit zippier than 1.5.x, but I suspect I wi
    • by Fnkmaster (89084)
      You really ought to install Qute [mozilla.org], a theme that was actually designed by somebody with an aesthetic sense. I'm actually using QuBranch [mozillazine.org] right now, the unofficial Qute build for FF 2.0. I actually forgot how much better Qute was than that default theme in FF 1.5.

      When I saw how awful the FF 2.0 default theme was (refresh? ugh!) I went out and found Qute again, and remembered what it was like to actually enjoy looking at my web browser again.
  • And that Firefox downloads figure probably doesn't even include all the downloads and CD copies of a file called firefox_2.0+0dfsg-0ubuntu3_i386.deb also going on this week...
  • Nothing unexpected (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ksempac (934247) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:07AM (#16622192)
    Who are the people who are most likely to download a new browser right after its release ? The guys who read IT news everyday with great interest...Call them Geeks, Devellopers, or typical Slashdot's reader it doesn t matter...

    The point is : do theses guys use IE as their main browser ? No.
    Are they using Firefox as their main browser ? The majority of them does.

    Therefore they are more likely to get Firefox 2.0 than IE7 (although many of them will get both in case they stumble upon a IE-only website). So its absolutly normal that the initial rush is in favor of Firefox...In the same way that Firefox's RC were more used than IE7's RC. Actually if Firefox had a lower download rush i would have quite worried for them.
  • by MadMirko (231667) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:23AM (#16622322)
    Considering that you currently can't install IE7 on anything but an ENGLISH XPSP2, which excludes the majority of worldwide users.

    I wouldn't jump to conclusions right now, you might be embarrassed later.
    • by Bambi Dee (611786)
      I didn't know that. I installed IE7 on a German XP, parts of which are now English. I think I'll try adding a Northern Low Saxon WMP next. Granted, most people don't actually speak English if they can avoid it. I'm also not downloading Firefox 2, preferring Konqueror. Wait, I'm actually doing a dist-upgrade at the moment. Never mind - mandatory Firefox download for me. :}
  • I got my FF2 with Edgy and it's a great program. It feels much faster although I haven't benchmarked it. It looks great and it is my preferred browser by far.

    Unfortunatly I've had some issues with it. Perhaps it's Ubuntus fault, but still. It's issues with FF for me.

    https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+source/firef ox/+bug/68586 [launchpad.net]

    That's one. The browser just "closes" on some pages. That's the major one actually.

    Also, they've changed so that ctrl-tab no longer switches tab (in kubuntu) but changes virtual des
    • by AusIV (950840)
      I use kubuntu edgy and I haven't run into either of the problems you mention. The browser has never closed on me, and Ctrl tab changes tabs for me, not desktops.

      I will say that Edgy Eft has given me more trouble than any earlier version of Ubuntu (enough so that I'm thinking of moving to Gentoo), but Firefox is one thing that is working as expected.

    • I haven't upgraded to Edgy yet, but Kubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) switches desktops when I use control+tab, too. This is controlled by the 'Regional & Accessibility' control panel thingamabob in System Settings. Switching tabs is done with Ctrl+period and Ctrl+comma.

      Actually, it's kinda cool to poke around the keyboard shortcuts - there are windows and functions I never knew existed before, just a keyboard shortcut away. I should let my 4-year-old use my computer more often - he's a master at discovering
  • Firefox 2 is translated to 34 languages. IE 7, on the other hand [msdn.com]..."The short version is that we will be releasing IE7 in all languages available for each version of Windows - twenty-four fully localized languages in total. In two to three weeks, we'll ship the Arabic, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish language versions. The remaining languages will be released in phases between November and January.

    And then the IE7 install checks if your computer is a legal XP copy. But most of desktop users j
    • by eneville (745111)

      Firefox 2 is translated to 34 languages. IE 7, on the other hand..."The short version is that we will be releasing IE7 in all languages available for each version of Windows - twenty-four fully localized languages in total. In two to three weeks, we'll ship the Arabic, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish language versions. The remaining languages will be released in phases between November and January.

      And then the IE7 install checks if your computer is a legal XP copy. But most of desktop users

    • by Tim C (15259)
      But most of desktop users just don't own a legal copy.

      Do you have any figures to back up that assertion? I likewise assert that the vast majority of desktop users have perfectly legal copies of Windows, as they simply use whatever came with their PC when they bought it, and that likewise the majority of users buy their PCs from big-name shops/manufacturers that install correctly licenced copies.

      Office and other apps, now that's a different story. As everyone here keeps saying, though, most users couldn't in
    • by westlake (615356)
      And then the IE7 install checks if your computer is a legal XP copy. But most of desktop users just don't own a legal copy

      You seem mighty sure about that.

      But XP has been the default OEM system install for five years. The gold standard for end users. XP upgrade bundles haven't slipped far down the software sales charts.

      The truth, I suspect, is that there are a lot more legit XP installs out there than the Geek is willing to admit.

      • by Tim C (15259)
        The truth, I suspect, is that there are a lot more legit XP installs out there than the Geek is willing to admit.

        Of course there are. Think about it - most users are barely able to secure their machines, even though all it really takes is installing some av software, not switching off its auto-update feature, and installing Windows updates fromtime to time (which is also fully automated by default).

        Are we really exepcted to believe that these same people are able to not only obtain an illicit copy of XP and
  • I suspect that most of these people were simply upgrading from older versions of firefox. It would be interesting to see the browser stats for these downloads. That would paint a clearer picture.
  • Annoyances (Score:5, Informative)

    by teslatug (543527) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:57AM (#16622640)
    Here are some of the settings that I've gathered so far to get Firefox 2.0 to my liking:

    In about:config
    * browser.tabs.closeButtons to 3 for one close tab button
    * browser.tabs.selectOwnerOnClose to false for successive reading and closing
    * browser.tabs.tabminwidth to 20 for displaying tab scrolling in extreme cases only
    * browser.urlbar.hideGoButton no use for the Go button
    * dom.disable_window to true, fix various window annoyances
    * network.prefetch-next to false for not wasting my bandwidth

    In userChrome.css for disabling the List all tabs which annoys me when using the close button:
    /* Disable Container box for "List all Tabs" Button */
    .tabs-alltabs-stack {
    display: none !important;
    }

    Feel free to add your own to the thread.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Trentus (1017602)
      I remember the day I learned to use about:config. I was able to get rid of a couple of simple extensions, and it made me feel like I could make the browser do whatever I wanted.
      Some of the ones I use are

      *browser.search.openintab true
      *browser.search.suggest.enabled false
      *network.dns.disableIPv6 true

      Some pages were taking a while to load up, but when I disabled IPv6, most pages sped right up. Guess I'll enable it again when more sites use it. As for the search, well, perhaps I'm just particular about this sor
  • I had to cut that down to fit it in the title box.

    The full quote is "Firefox 2: 2 million (actually slightly more) people using Firefox 2 in the first 24 hours."

    This is, unfortunately, an uncited statistic that is much more vague than "X downloads in the first 24 hours." How are the number of users tracked? What constitutes a user? Are people using Alphas, Betas, and RCs counted in this statistic (the vagueness of the wording implies yes to at least RC3).
  • by bradbury (33372) <Robert...Bradbury@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 28, 2006 @12:21PM (#16622846) Homepage
    Yep its just like the fancy new Christmas toy that has a few more bells and whistles than last year's toy. Unfortunately it lasted less than a hour before I managed to break it.

    I downloaded Firefox 2.0 and installed it under Linux (Gentoo 2.6.17-r7).

    Just for the heck of it I tried the same tests I tried in 1.5 and filed bug reports about several months ago. Sure enough Firefox 2.0 does *NOT* handle memory allocation failures. If one limits the amount of virtual memory (e.g. ulimit -Sv 115000) and starts firefox shortly thereafter it will core dump and will open a Talkback Incident window. I managed to file 3 different reports in 30 minutes of using it with memory limits in the range from 100-120MB.

    While I anticipate the bookmarks handling may be better (1.5 never should have been released until its bookmarks handling was on par with Netscape 4.72!) I still do not consider this to be production quality software. It will not be until it has decent handling of the various types of resource allocation failures (can't open tab, can't open window, can't allocate memory for image, script, network connection, etc.).

    Though I haven't tested it yet I also suspect they haven't handled things like window switching or efficient session restart. The open window (tab) should have top CPU and network priority until it is displayed. Any excess CPU or network resources can be dedicated to non-lead tabs or mininimized windows. They probably also haven't handled the heap fragmentation issue -- so after using Firefox for a week and one has opened 100 windows and 700 tabs (pushing the memory usage up to 1.2GB) it will still take 15 minutes or more to simply close all the windows and exit from Firefox (presumably because it has to merge all of the memory fragments being deallocated). Upon restarting the same session one will find that Firefox only needs 900MB. That is a memory leak and/or heap fragmentation problem.

    Please, no comments about how I shouldn't be using my browser this way... You use your browser your way, I'll use it my way. I happen to like to work on multiple things at the same time and when I'm writing research papers it isn't uncommon for me to open hundreds of sources simultaneously. I wouldn't have started limiting the virtual memory and run into Firefox's failings in that area at all if 1.5 hadn't turned out to be such an excessive memory consumer.

    The interesting question one might ask is how one releases software and specifies what its minimal memory requirements are if you don't limit its memory to determine that? I can only assume that the Firefox developers picked their numbers out of thin air [1].

    As an aside it may be worth noting that Firefox 1.5.0.7 does run under Windows 98 on a 75 MHz Pentium that only has 132MB of memory. It doesn't have the performance that Netscape 4.72 can show on the same machine though. As the 2.0 memory requirements seem to have increased (presumably due to the SQL libraries for bookmarks & history handling) I strongly doubt its performance would be improved over 1.5.0.7.

    1. Firefox 2.0 will *NOT* run in the Linux specified Minimum System Requirements of 64MB of RAM [2] unless you also have several hundred MB of swap space. And believe me, having pushed Firefox memory to ~70% of system RAM under Linux -- you would *not* want to try to use it even on a 128MB system due to Firefox's problems with heap memory management and the poor paging performance it generates under Linux.
    2. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/system-requir ements.html [mozilla.com]
    • by Faizdog (243703) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @12:49PM (#16623116)
      Ok,
      I won't comment on how you use your browser. But here's a question, is there ANY browser that would be able to handle the stress tests you used?

      If there is another browser that can handle "hundreds" of open sessions, and still work well for you, then perhaps that is a better fit for your purposes.

      Otherwise you're pushing your browser to the extremes, then pointing out its faults, however nothing else can handle it either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oGMo (379)

      Sure enough Firefox 2.0 does *NOT* handle memory allocation failures.

      [...]

      Upon restarting the same session one will find that Firefox only needs 900MB. That is a memory leak and/or heap fragmentation problem.

      First off, almost nothing gracefully handles memory allocation failure. Particularly anything in C/C++. You need memory to complete an operation, and if you don't get it, you're screwed. There's no way to reliably unwind the stack and reverse the state of the program to continue without perform

    • To sum it up: If you want 100 windows and 700 tabs open on your Win98 75MHz Pentium with 132 MB memory... Firefox isn't for you. It will break. You are much better going with Netscape 4.72 on Win98. Because of this, Firefox is SO not production quality yet. Wait for version 3.

      Thanks for the tip, hehe.
    • by stefanb (21140) *
      That's terrible! You should ask your money back.
  • IE upgrades in the past have caused serious system troubles that required 5-10 hours to fix. I believe MS leaves semi-intentionally bugs that affect out of date OSs (XP fits MS's definition).

    IE 6 works fine for sites that have been designed as it is the only browser in existance, which still exists. Hosing IE 6 with IE 7 is the stupidest thing anyone could do, considering that firefox/opera are at least as good.

    I may wait for a 2.01 firefox, but there's no question what my main browser will be.
  • I can say the same thing... but not in the "a user may download it 17 times" way... I am the Systems Manager for a company with about 50 seats, and we're deploying it on -one- download to our local samba share... I'm betting there are similar cases so the margin of error on IE7 dls --> users is similar to the FFX 2 dls --> users margin of error.
  • The menus in 2.0 in linux are now using instead of . This interferes with a couple of plugins, and goes against the conventions I have always used on my system, that every other app adheres to. Playing with ui.key stuff in about:config has not helped.
    • dammit. Why does "plain old text" not escape my #!@$# tags? Yeah I know, use preview.

      Above should read "The menus in 2.0 in linux are now using <alt> instead of <control>"
  • See here [bbc.co.uk].
  • 1. Firefox 2.0 install cleared my bookmarks. There are what appear to be bookmark backups, but copying them to the obvious place does not actually cause the bookmarks to reappear. Still trying to figure that out.

    2. Find "^F" in Firefox 2.0 does not appear to work, text is entered in the Find area bottom-left but no page motion happens, queries that do not match text on the given page are not marked in red, etc.

    3. Only the first tab works. You can open a second and more tab, but you can't load files int

  • I'm too lazy to check, but I think FF is compiled using gcc. Last I checked both the Visual C++ compiler and the Intel compiler produced faster and smaller binaries (generally speaking) for win32 on x86.

    Is the current FF compiled with the Intel compiler? If not, are there any projects that compile stuff like FF, Videolan etc on the Intel compiler? I remember a project that was trying to compile the linux kernel using the ICC, but was failing. If Intel releases a gcc-compatible compiler for win32, we should
  • Most of the half dozen or so (illegal) ebook sites I download from have stopped working with Firefox 2.0.

    When the hell are Web sites going to start following standards? I don't care if they don't obey copyright law - I just want them to work with my preferred browser.

    Fortunately I just discovered at least one of them works with Kongueror - so at least I don't have to boot into Windows to use the site. OTOH, if I just click the links, they open in Firefox - so I have to tell Kongueror to "Open in a new tab".
  • It kept failing on me

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