Preliminary autopsy results on Mozilla's Download Day ...

Mozilla's Guinness World Record attempt "Download Day" is still ongoing, but things got off to a shaky start yesterday. It seems that distributing popular (and much hyped) software doesn't go hand-in-hand with record attempts.

Mozilla's Guinness World Record attempt "Download Day" is still ongoing, but things got off to a shaky start yesterday. It seems that distributing popular (and much hyped) software doesn't go hand-in-hand with record attempts.

Firefox 3.0
Things got off to a very bad start right from the offset. "Download Day" was supposed to kick off at 10:00PDT, but it seems that from my browsing at the time that most of Mozilla's online real-estate went down at about 9:45PDT. The download sites did show some signs of life periodically but things were very unreliable. Based on my experience of the sites, and according to feedback I was getting, problems ranged from:

  • Inability to access the Mozilla websites
  • Inability to download Firefox 3.0
  • Corrupted downloads
  • People downloading Firefox 3.0 but ending up with Firefox 2.0 instead

Some people waited patiently for things to recover, while others got bored and downloaded Firefox 3.0 from alternative download sites. I heard from one guy who was part of a download party in Tokyo, Download Day was always going to be a very AM event in that time zone, but he emailed me at around 4:45AM local time to let me know that he'd not been able to download Firefox 3.0 yet.

According to Mozilla PR, the official Download Day kicked off later than expected - 11:16PDT, but it seems that things didn't settle fully down until around 12:20PDT.

So how did this affect Download Day? Net Applications published hourly Firefox 3.0 usage statistics on its website, and the data makes interesting reading.

[poll id=311]

Note: Net Application's data is set to EDT, where Download Day started at 1:00PM.

Net Applications Download Day data

What's going to be interesting to find out is how "sticky" Firefox 3.0 is (that is, how many of the people who download is over the next few days - while the hype is strongest - will continue to use is). Mozilla certainly have made Firefox 3.0 stickier by making the installer set the browser as the default automatically during the install process. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on the Net Application's data over the next few months.

[poll id=310]

[UPDATE: As of 9:30AM EDT Firefox 3.0 downloads are currently standing at 6.7 million and rising by about 6,000 a minute (I warn you, the font of that page is a little extreme ...).]

Thoughts? How did Download Day work out for you? Are you running Firefox 3.0? Do you like it or do you find it lacking?

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