Firefox 4 Downloaded 15.85 Million Times In 48 hours [Infographic]

Firefox 4 was released on March 22, 2011 and it created a record of sorts by being downloaded more than a million times in a few hours. Over 7 million copies of were downloaded in the first 24 hours. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded 2.35 million times in the first 24 hours.

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Mozilla has now released a new infographic which shows the amount of downloads that happened in the first 48 hours of launch and compares it with several different things including a trip to the moon.

For example, 4 was downloaded 15.85 million times in the first 48 hours. If each download were a mile, it would have been 33 round trips to the moon and back. It is also larger than the population of LOS Angeles which is the 12th largest city in the world.

There were 10,200 downloads made per minute at peak and 5,503 average downloads per minute. This mean that Firefox 4 was downloaded 91.7 times per second. This is definitely some cool stats. For the rest check the infographic embedded below.

Firefox 4 48 Hours Download Infographic

Currently the Firefox 4 download count stands at over 25.6 million. You can view live stats for FF4 downloads at http://glow.mozilla.org/.

Update: Please note that the IE9 download numbers are only for , and Windows Server based PCs, whereas Firefox 4 numbers are for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Google Looks to Curb Chrome’s Ballooning Installer Size, Constitutes Task Force to Reverse the Bloat

Three years ago, Google shook up the browser world by announcing Chrome. Since then, it has gone on to redefine what we expect from a modern web browser. Even if you are not a Chrome user, you are probably reaping the benefits of the innovations introduced by Google. Almost all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari, have adopted the minimalistic appearance introduced by Chrome.

Chrome, which started off as a bare-bones browser, has added a significant number of features to its repertoire over the past few years. However, the new features have come at a cost. As pointed out by Shankland, it has gone from being approximately 9 MB in version 1.0 to more than 26 MB in version 10.0.

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Google Chrome Installer Size (Chart by Shankland)

Chrome is currently smaller than Safari, which is a 34 MB download, but is doing a lot worse than Firefox and Opera. Firefox 4 is a 12 MB download, while Opera 11.10 Beta measures in at just 9 MB.

The increase in broadband penetration around the world means that download size is less of an issue than it was three years back. However, it’s still an issue. Opera recently changed its installer, and stopped bundling Unite extensions to reduce the download size. The chief disadvantages of having a large binary size pointed out by Chrome Developer Ian Fette are:

1. We do distribution deals with Chrome, where we bundle Chrome with other products. These get difficult when our binary grows.
2. We see increased download failures / install dropoffs as the binary grows, especially in countries with poor bandwidth like India. India also happens to be a very good market for Chrome (we have good market share there and growing), so that’s also very problematic.

One way to tackle the problem of failed installations would be to provide an offline installer, instead of the web-installer that Google currently serves by default. The other way is, of course, to reduce the download size. Google has decided to take the second route. It has launched a new task force that will aggressively look at options to reduce the installation size. While the Windows edition of Chrome is the primary focus of attention, Chrome for other platforms should also benefit from this move.

It would be irresponsible to dub Chrome as a bloat. Nevertheless, it’s true that the installer is larger than I would have preferred. It’s heartening to see that Google jumping in before the ballooning binary size became a serious issue. What is your thought on Chrome? Has it become too bloated? Don’t forget to let us know.

Firefox 4 RC For Android And Maemo Released

Yesterday, along with the final version of Firefox 4, Mozilla also released the RC version of Firefox for Android and Maemo on the Android Market.

According to the Mozilla blog, the RC version of FF4 for Android and Maemo is faster and more responsive than the previous Beta release. There are improvements to Firefox Sync and UI as well.

I have been using the latest RC on my Desire Z running CM7 (Android 2.3.3.), and I am pleased to say that the performance of the app has improved considerably. I called the last beta release of Firefox for Android more of a bloat ware, but the RC version is fast and snappy! The start-up loading time of the application has been reduced significantly as well.

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One major advantage of Firefox Mobile over the Stock Android browser and Opera Mobile 11 is the support for extensions. Right now, there are more than 150 add-ons available for Firefox Mobile.

The only downside of Firefox Mobile is that at the moment it does not support Flash. This is quite a major letdown considering Flash support is a very big plus of the Android OS over iOS. In fact, Opera Mobile 11 for Android also supports Flash.

Hopefully, the final version of Firefox will include support for Flash. We will also be doing a Firefox 4 vs. Opera Mobile 11 vs. Stock Android browser comparison, once the final version of Firefox Mobile is released.

Firefox 4 Officially Released, Crosses One Million Downloads Within Hours

After a dozen betas, and two release candidates, Mozilla has finally released the public build of Firefox 4. It took nearly a year to come, but now that it’s here, expect it to break all records. With well over five thousand downloads per minute, at the moment, Firefox seems well poised to go past the ten million mark. You can tack Firefox 4 downloads in realtime from glow.mozilla.org.

Firefox Although, several planned features were dropped from Firefox 4, as it struggled to stay on schedule, Firefox 4 is a meaty update, which boasts of some pretty significant enhancements.

The user interface has been refined to give the website higher priority. Tabs are now on top (as they should be), and the menu bar has been replaced with a single “Firefox” button.

Firefox 4 is significantly faster than its predecessors, courtesy of the new JagerMonkey JavaScript engine, and should be able to hold its own against the likes of Opera 11, Chrome 10 and Internet Explorer 9. Also new to this build is hardware (GPU) acceleration and WebGL support. Unfortunately, hardware acceleration is currently not supported in Linux. WebGL compatibility means that Firefox is ready to meet the demands of the new age, graphics intensive web-applications and games.

Other new features in Firefox 4 include in-built synchronization option, “Panaroma” tab organization, app tabs, multi-touch support, DNT (Do Not Track) header support, WebM video playback, crash protection for popular plug-ins (Flash, QuickTime, Silverlight etc.), HTML 5 parser, and open type fonts support. The full changelog for Firefox 4 is available here.

Firefox-4-Download-Count

Firefox 4 for Windows, Mac and Linux is available in more than seventy languages from firefox.com.

Get Back Old Facebook Comment Button – Fix Enter to Comment On Facebook

recently rolled out a new change to their user interface where they got rid of the Comment button and allowed users to comment by hitting the Enter key. However, this was a bit annoying to users who did not know about it and innocently hit enter to add a new line to their comment. When they did this, the comment was automatically posted. (Hint: use Shift + Enter to add a new line)

Facebook Comment Button

If you are someone who has been annoyed by this problem, there is a quick and easy fix to get back the old comment button on Facebook through a script.

To get the old comment button back in Facebook, head over to http://www.crypticide.com/alecm/chrome/ and click on the FixSillyFacebook.user.js to install the Greasemonkey script in and (you will need the Greasemonkey add-on). If you are using or Internet Explorer or Safari follow our earlier post on Installing Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, IE and Safari.

P.S. The above script was a modification of another script created by Daniel Wood because it lacked the ability to work on the www subdomain in Facebook.

Firefox “Do Not Track” Feature Punches Advertisers in the Gut

Firefox launched a do not track feature earlier in January. This feature allowed users to opt out of tracking of user behavior.

Advertisers used the tracked data to display relevant ads, based on browsing data. The feature was received quite well, though Mozilla admitted that the feature was far from perfect and it further required the tracking company to agree not to get involved in tracking the user once he/she opted out. In short, the feature was more of an agreement between the user and the tracking company, an agreement that was never going to happen.

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Advertisers depend on the user’s browsing data for ad-relevance, and this feature can kill the current business model of advertisements. However, Mozilla CEO  Gary Kovacs says,

It gives the user the opportunity to put their hand up and say, ‘Don’t track me. If our 450 million [users] put up their hands, someone’s going to listen: governments are going to listen, policy makers are going to listen, ad networks are going to listen.

Further, Kovacs justifies his view by saying,

We just want the user to know, and then choose. When I go to Netflix, I want a recommendation–I want it to track me.

However, what he says not is that Netflix is a service he is actively willing to use persistently, which is not the same with ads.

Firefox 4 Release Date Confirmed for March 22

RC has been out for a few days now and the new UI looks pretty good. Also, there aren’t any important bugs in the Release Candidate. Yesterday, Internet Explorer 9 was also released to the public. So when will Firefox 4 be available?

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According to a Mozilla posting on Google Groups, 4 will be made available to general public on March 22 or thereof. The date has been confirmed by both the IT and marketing team at Mozilla.

All,

Firefox 4 RC1 has received a very warm welcome; it’s time to make a decision to ship.  As of now, there are no known issues that would stop us from shipping RC1 as final.  At the conclusion of our regular 11:30AM triage session on Wednesday, March 16th, release drivers will decide whether to ship RC1 as Firefox 4.

March 22nd is the day we would ship.  Both IT and Marketing have indicated that March 22nd is an acceptable final launch date.  If at any time we discover issues that would block final release, we would issue an RC2 as soon as possible, reset the ship date, and communicate to everyone.

All my best,

Damon

The Firefox 4 RC1 will be frozen and released as the final version of Firefox 4, so users who are already using the RC will not see any changes. This is definitely good news for Mozilla, because Firefox 4 has been delayed numerous times and the competition has heated up with the launch of Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome 10 and Opera 11

Download Internet Explorer 9 Final

Microsoft has just made the final release of Internet Explorer 9 available for download. The beta of IE 9 has been downloaded over 40 million times already. The final version was supposed to launch on March 14, at 9 am PM PST, and it has.

Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer has been one of the most abused browsers of all time, especially IE 6. With IE 9, Microsoft has promised to make good with web developers and has embraced most open web standards.

Internet Explorer 8 was quite well received, and even though I use Opera as my primary browser, I still use IE 8 for sites which just don’t work with Opera. I will now be upgrading that with Internet Explorer 9.

To download Internet Explorer 9, just go to this link – Internet Explorer 9 Download

Select the version of IE9 (32-bit or 64-bit) and click on Download Now.

IE 9 offers a much better browsing experience than previous versions, and is also much faster. Here’s a list of the new features IE 9 brings to the table.

Update: Here are some direct download links (Courtesy Win Rumors)

Firefox 4 RC Review

Update: Some sections of this article have been modified from their original form

The Release Candidate for Firefox 4 has been out for a few days now and I decided to put it through the paces. Though there wouldn’t me much to write about since my Firefox 4 Beta review, there are definitely some speed tests and other things I have done to compare it with other offerings available today.

UI Changes

As I had mentioned in my beta review, the user interface for 4 is completely different from earlier versions. It is similar to what other browser look like including Internet Explorer 9, and .

Firefox 4 User Interface

This is definitely good because users will have a unified experience across multiple browsers. Firefox 4 has combined all the menu items into a single menu item. However, individual menu items are available when you press the Alt key.

Firefox 4 though hasn’t gotten rid of the search box and continues to use it for dedicated searches. However, you can still use the address bar to perform searches.

More New Features

Other than these, Firefox 4 also has a new tab manager which allows you to manage open tabs. A new add-on manager, a new feature where you can search the address bar and switch to an open tab and more integration. I had covered all of these in my earlier Firefox 4 review so I would not want to repeat them again.

Firefox 4 RC Benchmark – How it Stacks Up?

Coming to my favorite part in this review, I ran a couple of benchmarks on Firefox 4 RC to understand how it stacked up against the several other browsers I use. These benchmarks were run on a hot instance of all the included browsers (the browsers were already open once before running the tests).

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Sadly, the tests did not backup Firefox 4 here. Firefox 4 was rated the second lowest in the Peacemaker tests after Safari of course. Way below Internet Explorer 9. By the way that Safari 4.0.4 is actually Google Chrome 12, somehow it identifies it wrong. I have made sure to make it apparent in the test results image too.

The winner of course was Opera 11.10 which is still in alpha stage and Google Chrome 12 which will be released soon. It goes to show where Mozilla’s efforts are.

Firefox 4 Acid Tests

Firefox 3 RC fared worse in their Acid3 tests than the beta versions. This was not unexpected, but I have hardly seen any browser go higher that this.

Of course, Firefox 4 might have higher ratings elsewhere, but this is definitely not something I would want to see Firefox 4 in the ratings. Alas, we can’t get everything we want can we?

Summarizing

Firefox 4 is a huge leap for Mozilla, it makes a lot of UI changes which will be unacceptable to many users so you can expect a lot of backlash when this goes live However, it is a move in the right direction and will pay off in the end.

However, there are quite a few things which lack in Firefox 4 and were supposed to be in Firefox 3.5. Do feel free to talk about your thoughts out here, in fact I would be very appreciative if you could share your benchmarks of different browsers too.

Redundant Section

This part of the article is redundant and it might have been a bug in my profile, please disregard it. You can click here to see this section.

Mozilla Moves to a New Release-system For Firefox, Features Now Coming with Updates

Mozilla has a tough year ahead of it. The Firefox roadmap boasts of gamechanging updates and it will be a pleasure to see them come through. However, people are apprehensive about the roadmap, since it claims four major versions in a year which is so unlike Mozilla. Though, recent updates have outlined how Firefox will achieve this feat.

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For those not familiar with the context, you can check this coverage for Mozilla’s plan of releasing version 4, 5, 6 and 7, all by the end of this year.

Following Google’s announcement of releasing new features as and when they are ready, Mozilla has decided to put Firefox through the same process. The addition of features will be made irrespective of versions and this eliminates the need for all the hoopla around major version releases. The new system will be put in place only after the release of Firefox 4. That makes Firefox 4 the last major release in its true essence.

Jay Sullivan, the VP of Productions at Mozilla responded to pcpro saying,

What we want to do is get the power into users’ hands more quickly. For example, the video tag was shippable in June – we should have shipped it. Meanwhile, we’re waiting for this whole package. Why wouldn’t we ship the video tag when it’s ready? We’re moving on web time now, and we’ve been shipping a little bit on desktop time. It’s not necessary, so we’re undergoing some process changes, and we’ll do smaller bundles more quickly.

The new system, in Sulllivan’s words, is all about “fewer features and more releases, like Chrome“. This can be seen in Firefox 4, which had 12 betas. Mozilla plans to release a new version every three weeks in this new process. What remains to be seen is how many actual features and fixes go into those releases or whether the system is just a  faux pas. Firefox has seen extremely slow development over the last one year and the new system should at least bring some transparency into the development of Firefox, if not pace it up altogether.

If you would like to speculate further, catch some info on the Firefox 5 concept here.