July 26, 2005 6:17 PM PDT

Firefox downloaded 75 million times

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
As it marked the 75 millionth download of its Firefox Web browser, the Mozilla Foundation said it was expanding in several directions.

The foundation's open-source e-mail reader, Thunderbird, is approaching its 10 millionth download. Mozilla's browser for small devices, Minimo, reached a milestone, as a prerelease version appeared with tabs, a bookmark manager and RSS feeds. The Mozilla staff itself has quadrupled during the past six months, to 40 employees.

"We're beefing up the management on the project," said Chris Hofmann, whose title at Mozilla is in flux since the foundation hired another director of engineering. "The project is still very healthy. We're seeing continued corporate interest and have a lot of large organizations that want to do deployments."

Mozilla on Tuesday marked the 75 millionth download of Firefox. That number has only a hazy relationship to the number of people actually using the browser; it counts multiple downloads of different versions and doesn't count Mozilla's automatic updates or copies from single downloads distributed through organizations by technology managers.

The milestone provides at least a psychological boost to the foundation's volunteers and staffers, who have watched growth rates slip this year amid a string of security problems.

Thunderbird, the foundation's e-mail application, had been downloaded 9,951,582 times as of Tuesday afternoon.

Replacing Hofmann as director of engineering is Mike Schroepfer, who will be responsible for day-to-day management of the engineering staff and determining what features and fixes go into releases. Hofmann's duties will shift to the browser's deployment and distribution, partner relationships, security and community relations.

On the mobile front, Mozilla on Monday released Minimo 007, the latest version of the prerelease mobile browser with an interface built in XUL (Extensible User Interface Language).

A XUL interface makes it easier for Mozilla to use Firefox features in Minimo and make the browser work on a wide array of device operating systems, including those produced by Microsoft.

"This may be the first handheld browser to have both tabbed browsing and Web services support," said Doug Turner, the Mozilla engineer heading up the Minimo project. "It offers desktoplike browsing functionality optimized for small screens...so you can access Gmail or Google Maps. Secondly, this is built on the same platform as Firefox. This will allow, for the first time, extension writers to access the handheld platform. Extensions like AdBlocker and even Greasemonkey may be easily ported and seamlessly run on these handhelds."

Turner said Mozilla was in discussions with phone makers about using Minimo, but he did not name them (the project counts Nokia as a funder). He did say that Pioneer planned to use the project's "Spatial Navigation" feature for surfing Web pages with directional keys, a feature Pioneer funded.

Minimo plans within the next five to six months a "beta" test version for use with Windows CE PPC and Windows CE SmartPhone.


Correction: This report misidentified the name of the latest version of Mozilla's prerelease mobile browser. It should have been identified as Minimo 007.


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Who really cares how many time FireFox has been "downloaded"? Install base is far more important than # of downloads. Oh well, I think tomorrow we will see news like "FireFox has been downloaded for 75 million and 1 time" :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
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install base
it's worth noting that many of those who download the fox install it and use it over IE.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
Agree Userbase is a far better measure ...
As I must have downloaded each of the fixes ( and a couple of the beta's ) ... so does that count as 8 odd downloads ?

And as much as I like firefox, I'm sure that there must be a percentage of users that downloaded and didn't find it to there liking.
Posted by GordonBarnard (1 comment )
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What I dislike about the whole OSS thing is often you have hundreds or even thousands of contributers who help in their free time, and you have a lucky few (40 in this case) who get paid to do the same job. Then you have companies like IBM that make even more money for doing even less. Seems like exploitation to me.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
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the mozilla foundation
you do know that firefox is about 5 million lines of code right? the mozilla foundation have been working their arses off on firefox. the irony with your arguement is that MS do even less the OSS developers and IBM and still earn more than all of them put together.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
Participating in OSS
Nobody is holding a gun to their head. If the people who are participating in the development have an issue with not getting paid, they just won't do it anymore.

Some people just want the opportunity of working on something. Not everything is about $$.
Posted by (46 comments )
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Still don't get it
Amazing how we still get posts like that from people who have no insight or concept of what motivates members of the F/L/OSS community (which varies widely).
Posted by Eggs Ackley (34 comments )
Link Flag
I understand...... I think
I think that it is great that people who have enough money put their free time to good use for the good of the whole world.

But that was not my point. Since it was missed I will just take it on the chin and go back to making a living..... I think.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
I loves me some Firefox.
Posted by (14 comments )
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