Wednesday, September 12, 2007

400 million downloads: You all helped 'Spread Firefox'

On November 9, 2004, users worldwide started a movement called ‘Spread Firefox’. Supported by tens of thousands of contributors, it took just 99 days to deliver 25 million downloads of Firefox.

Apperantly, the world was desperate for a web browser alternative to Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft was probably watching and not worried at all at the prospect of ‘another Netscape’, let alone an open-source competitor not supported by a corporate owner!

Well, we all know how that turned out!

In less than six months, the number of downloads doubled to 50 million, and it turned open source into a household word and reasserted the supremacy of choice and simplicity.

Firefox didn’t overwhelm users with pop-ups, and gave them a new browser not yet targeted by hackers and malware writers, without worries of infecting their systems. But, best of all, it worked well compared to IE!

It took the Spread Firefox global community of activists only one year to reach the 100 million downloads mark. It seemed that there was something about the brand, and it’s ‘common man versus corporate giant’ that made it fun to use and a statement cherished by anti-corporate types.

That’s why some 50,000 websites and blogs carry the ‘Spread Firefox’ buttons and banners, making Firefox one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands.

Accordingly, last year, it was reported that the number of downloads hit the 200 million mark. Guess what, it’s doubled in the year since then!

Firefox has reached 400 million downloads.

Obviously, the Mozilla organization, the ‘patron’ of Firefox is trumpeting this as a victory.

The official statement goes as follows: “You all demonstrated that not even the world’s most powerful companies can keep people from a better, safer, and faster Web experience. You all, the grass roots and heart of the Firefox movement, have helped hundreds of millions of people find that better, safer, and faster Web.”

The Mozilla foundation is non-profit, and the browser is indeed a strong product so you’d have to accept most of that statement as true!

And it’s all happened in just three, short years!

As you would expect, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer lost some market share, and has been updated and developed to counter this Firefox blitz.

Still, Firefox grows and continues to take market share from IE. We’re not kidding ourselves, IE will continue to lead the market, but Firefox has achieved so much and there’s more to come.

Wait till Firefox handles every language in the world properly. Arabic support is available but still needs some work, and web developers across the region are now making their sites Firefox compliant. Even at this early stage, there’s a considerable percentage of Firefox penetration among Middle East-based users.

Bravo Mozilla, congrats to Firefox-ers. Long live the open source revolution that promotes better performance from corporates who forgot that users have choices.


At 7:02 PM , Anonymous Adel said...

i downloaded firefox, and it was like internet what's the difference?

At 1:30 AM , Blogger Zeid Nasser said...

Hello Adel, thanks for your comment.

That is why its great. It's an option for those who don't want to use Explorer. Microsoft sells its software, Mozilla doesn't.


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