Thursday, 24 March 2011 03:07

Firefox 4 flies out download door at full throttle


Microsoft boasted of 2.3 million downloads for its new IE 9 browser within the first 24 hours, while the cunning Firefox 4 put four to the floor with a report of at least 6.5 million downloads of FF4 within 24 hours.

Although Microsoft's latest IE 9 browser will be offered to users of Windows Vista and 7 as an update at some point, when it comes to first day interest, Firefox is winning the day one download bonanza against Microsoft.

Microsoft said that 2.3 million copies of IE 9 were downloaded in the first day, and undoubtedly, there are been millions more since.

Still, Firefox 4, which launched on March 22, has already clocked up 6.5 million downloads, according to the Mozilla Foundation in an interview with The Inquirer, with potentially more to be added to the final tally.

A download 'glow' stats page for Firefox 4 is available to view here, where over 7.6m downloads are already listed at the time of publication.

Mozilla itself celebrates the launch of Firefox 4 on its blog.

Promising a 'fast, sleek and customisable browsing experience' to more than 400 million of its existing users worldwide, Firefox 4 does bear a resemblance to the simplified interfaces of IE 9 and Google Chrome, as the web itself and all the content within are presented with less clutter.

Well, at least until some users find all manner of toolbars on their browsers, often signifying that adware if nothing else is on the computer.

Beyond that, Firefox 4 has predictably received a 'streamlined user interface, fun new features, a boost in speed and support for modern Web technologies'.

More details on page two, please read on!

These include fastest Firefox performance ever at 'up to six times faster' than the previous version. New app tabs appear in the interface, an improved tab switching capability and panorama mode are available.

UPDATE: Google News has accidentally put page two of this story as its main story link. Please click here for page one. Apologies - page two continues below:

A new-add ons manager is within, the Firefox sync tool, faster Javascript performance, HTML 5 support that includes 'hardware accelerated, high definition video' and 3G graphics, touch screen interfaces, professional typography and more.

Firefox 4 even promises to provide 'uninterrupted browsing when there is a crash in the Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins. If one of these plugins crashes or freezes, it won't affect the rest of Firefox. Simply reload the page to restart the plugin.'

So, as always, technology continues improving, and browsers do too. Presumably by the time Firefox gets to version 5.0, Google will be up to version 20 of Chrome, and Microsoft somewhere in between.

Whichever browser you choose, they've never been more advanced or hardware accelerated - and there's no reason why you should only limit yourself to one, when you can install as many browsers as you like.

So, go forth and browse, and may the force of millions of browser downloads be with you!



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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