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

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

Summary: 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.

TOPICS: Browser

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 3.0Things 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?

Topic: Browser

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  • It was even better

    This morning it appeared in the repository and my machine just downloaded it automatically, no need to go to the Firefox website whatsoever....
  • Tried it and found

    that I was more impressed with Opera.

    Sorry FF.....
  • I don't what the big deal is

    Why is Firefox "so good" ? And have you all notcied that every web browser's site (IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari), all have the words "Faster" and "Safer" on them in big letters?

    Its BS, I tells you.

    I'll use FF3 for a bit, see if I can work any advantage out. But so far, I've spent most of the morning installing add-ons for Flash and all that stuff.
    • Adrian's Previous Blog Showed Firefox 3 Is Faster

      Objective tests show that Firefox really is faster. I don't know how people put up with Internet Explorer. Safari for Windows is a work in progress, Opera is also a good alternative. Firefox has risen from the ashes of Netscape Navigator to become the best browser on the planet. This is just another example of how the open source model for software is superior to proprietary software.
      • Ok, but

        But what's so bad about IE or Opera ? The do exactly the same thing. I couldn't care less if Google loads 0.00003 seconds faster in FireFox.
        • Why FF is better.

          Most find Firefox to be better due to the large number of add-ons that make browsing so much more enjoyable. FireFox and it's add-ons also (can) make browsing more secure and safe. Those, along with more speed just make for a better experience on the web. That's enough for me.
          • That's total BS

            Most find Firefox to be better due to the large number of add-ons that make browsing so much more enjoyable

            Apart from the most esoteric add ons, the most popular are already covered by Opera either as built in features or as widgets:


            FireFox and it's add-ons also (can) make browsing more secure and safe.

            Actually, add ons can make it less secure. While Mozilla team may review the add ons on their website, it cannot control all those published elsewhere, AND, it may be the case they don't detect all dangers in their in sites extensions. Could you please back your claim with more information?

            Those, along with more speed just make for a better experience on the web. That's enough for me.

            First, not everybody agrees with Adrian's speed tests:


            Second, Opera 9.27 is faster than FF 2 and more memory efficient that both FF2 and FF3 according to Adrian's own tests (even when Opera has more built in features!!!). My question is: if speed and functionality were so important to you why were not you using Opera 9.2x instead of FF2? After all it had all what FF2 had but in some cases better

            My hypothesis is that people make a decision (sometimes emotionally) and then try to stick to that decision and try to justify it logically, no matter what. First, the argument about standards. Opera beats FF and any other browser on this. Then the issue of add ons. It has been shown than most or all are already covered. Now, the issue of speed. This is the first time there is at least some doubt about which was the fastest. Opera had always been.

            So, there you have, no matter how hard reasonable arguments are given to people, it is very difficult to make them change their minds (by the way, I use all major four: Opera, FF, IE and Safari on a regular basis).
          • Opera Problems

            I have tried 3 versions of Opera so far, and the one BIG problem I have with it is page rendering. I LARGE number of corporate web pages just don't render properly or have functions (menus, dropdowns, etc.) that don't work.
            Ole Rellik
          • The same complaint from Mozilla years ago

            Do you remember that? Now, that it has proven that Opera is the most standards-compliant browser, who do you think is the culprit of those incompatibilities?
          • Oh, and by the way

            I am glad to see that, at least for some people (like you), the total nonsense of the add ons and speed are not the main argument anymore!
          • It's not the browser it's the non-compliant corporate websites

            Unfortunately, there are still sites that rely on activeX to render properly - and they are mostly corporate. It's not Opera's or Firefox's faults that these sites lock them out by following M$ standards. Fortunately, IE8 will be standards compliant by default, so that will force all those who stray from building standards compliant sites to adapt. So expect to see less and less problems with sites once everyone is using the same website design playbook.
          • I beg to differ.

            Firebug for Firefox.
          • Differ on what?

            Opera released DragonFly wich you can use for the same purposes. True, I cannot say that DF is better or equivalent that FB, but (1) if not now, in the short term will be (at least equivalent), and (2) developers using this are in the very great minority when using a browser for end-purposes. What's the next excuse when DF is on par with FB? That you have FF 3 source code available and not Opera's?

            Let's think of the opposite and all the features present in Opera before FF like image zooming and Speed Dial, etc. Oh, wait a second Mozilla will never recognize that (yeah, yeah, there were extensions to FF that did the same, but Opera 9.2x with all that built in functionality was already beating FF WITHOUT extensions in speed and memory use). Sorry pal, but most people will beg to differ with you.
        • Speed is only one issue...

          There's nothing wrong with Opera - it's a great alternative to Firefox if you don't need to use the specialized add-ons that Firefox is famous for.

          I use five browsers myself on a regular basis - Firefox, Opera, Flock, Safari and IE7 (ok IE7 not so regularly)- but only one of them can be the overall best and for me it's definitely FF. Opera actually has more built-in features, and practically matches FF in speed, but the FF add-ons bring the browser closer to being ideal. Even though FF took years to move from 2.0 to 3.0 it didn't matter because the add-ons allowed users to change the browser into what we wanted on any given day. I like Flock, a flavor of FF, because it saves me time when i use social websites like Youtube and MySpace.

          I like safari's speed - it's about as fast as Firefox - but it's design is oversimplified as if made for children. It even lacks basic stuff like a full-screen mode. Its only innovative feature is its ability to re-size text boxes - nothing to write home about. IE7 would be an ok browser if it wasn't so darn slow - No browser should be slower than the user! Back in the days of dial up internet, speed didn't matter because the data stream was the limiting factor. Now with IE7 it's the browser that's limiting the rendering speed. You may not appreciate the benefits of rendering speed on a single page, but try opening five tabs at once and it's then that you will see the difference...the seconds add up. Why spend time waiting when you pay so much for broadband so that you don't have to?
    • Live in a cave?

      Just look at test results. IE7 is HORRIBLY slow. I cannot stand using it. And then on the standards front, FF3 comes in a strong 3rd, right behind Safari (or is it the other way around, cant recall) and trailing Opera by a ways. But IE is so far behind its laughable that such a browser ever rose to be the most used browser.
      • True

        But remember that IE7 is almost 2 years old now. A lot has changed on the web over the last 2 years...
        • IE7 older?...Not so fast. (pun intended)

          IE7 and FF2 were released in October 2006...the same month...yet FF2 was 2x faster than IE7 at that time... now FF3 is 10x faster...and Opera was even faster than both back in it's also 10x faster...

          Here's the reason why IE7 is so's recycled from IE6...IE7 was built on top of IE6, a browser made for dial-up internet...the MS team wasn't thinking about the fact that broadband was going to expose the rendering limits of the browser...typical tracked minds
        • Two years old? ... What?? ... BUT ...

          Vista SP1 isn't any "two years old," and I thought --- according to what MS said to the antitrust court --- that IE was such an [i]integral part[/i] of Windows that they [i]couldn't[/i] separate it out?

          You mean Microsoft is so unconcerned about the performance of an [i]integral part[/i] of their flagship product that they would just ignore improving it with the flagship product SP?? LOL! Just goes to show that even you Microsoft shills weren't fooled by THAT nonsense!
          • Great point!

            I get the feeling that MS does no work on their browsers once they publish their release version...the only updates are for fixing holes in the swiss cheese they call a browser. It's as if they're afraid that if they touch it they will break it...or maybe they were waiting for FF and Opera to give them some ideas to steal from..
  • RE: Preliminary autopsy results on Mozilla's Download Day ...

    I was actually able to download it fairly quickly. I changed the hyperlink to include 3.0 rather than and it took me right to the page.