back to article Firefox 3 makes up world record to set world record

The Mozilla Foundation has officially set a previously non-existent Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in a day. Firefox 3 clocked 8,002,530 downloads on the popular web browser’s launch day (18 June), according to GWR judges who confirmed the figure yesterday. It tallied up the numbers after …


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  1. Ron Eve

    Record breaker

    "The Mozilla Foundation has officially set a previously non-existent Guinness World Record....."

    Frankly I couldn't care less about 'a record number of downloads' but I still don't get El Reg's problem with this. Any record has to be set at least once for it to be broken so why the snide jibes?

    <sigh> too warm for a coat today

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure the downloads of the file broke that world record years ago.

  3. Robert Grant Silver badge

    I don't think I found enough bias in this article

    Seriously - optimistic? Pessimistic? The author might as well be playing poker with me, I can detect that little from her!

  4. Booty Inspector
    Paris Hilton

    That's not right...

    ...I'm sure "One Night in Paris" hit 18 million in the first hour.

  5. Glenn Gilbert

    Downloaded, used for a bit, went back to Firefox 2

    It's not ready and many of the extensions I use with FF2 don't work with FF3. If it hadn't broken the FF2 installation (Mac), I wouldn't be using it now.

    Strikes me it's a "Microsoft" upgrade where they've added a bunch of features which aren't that interesting whilst breaking things (such as the zoom where I want the text to expand not the browser to get wider than my screen).

    It feels like it's a point release product; Firefox 2.1?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So that's the record until the next XP patch day, if Microsoft care to have their counters verified. What a complete waste of time (and I like firefox).

  7. Mark Broadhurst
    Dead Vulture

    Non-existant record.

    Its not really news if they are beating the previous value of nothing.

    i'm going to set the record for the most number of hairs pulled from my fore arm. No one has done it in volume so its an instant record.

  8. PJH

    Previously non-existant GWR

    ``The Mozilla Foundation has officially set a previously non-existent Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in a day.``

    So when are MS going to beat it? Next Patch Tuesday?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Have I missed something?

    Were these downloads by FF fanbois? I'm a FF user, not a fanboi. I got an update to v2 yesterday but as yet have not been invited to downlaod 3. given the holes so far I'll wait, do I have to seek out the update?

  10. Tom Kelsall


    just go to and download 3 - it's not an update to 2 it's a new product.

    I'm pretty sure that I won't be sucked into the vuln, and I'm also pretty sure that I'll get updates to my add-ons soon. A lot of mine are now working - just waiting for updates to others. As for FF3 itself - I love it. It's blindingly fast for a start... not noticed any memory leaks, and I love the "Title Preview" feature when you're typing a web address.

  11. Peter W


    what is elreg's problem with this? FF3 tried to get as many as possible on one day, got 8mil Pretty impressive.

    FF3 seems very good, much better than both 2 (which used to crash every couple of days on my pc), ie6 and ie7. Very fast. The addons don't all work but that'll be a question of time I expect - until then, FF2 is still available.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    And 7.9m of those downloads were actually by AVG's software...

  13. Magnus

    You mean to say most of the records aren't made up on the spot?

    Considering I recall such things as the longest underwater hand of Poker...

    Mine's the one with the record number of cross-stitched animals.

  14. Anonymous Hero
    Gates Halo

    @Glenn Gilbert

    Agreed, for a regular joe schmoe browser user this has to be the biggest anti-climax since my ex-wife faked her last one.

    Kinda makes me think of my new t-shirt -

    "I downloaded Firefox 3, and all I got was this lousy new back button".

    I also think they cheated by stopping the clock and fixing their servers? No?

  15. Sim
    Thumb Down

    hate ff3 url bar

    I hate the "Title Preview" feature when you're typing a web address thats why i uninstalled ff3-because it cannot be turned off

  16. Tom Kelsall


    Oh, I'm sure it CAN be turned off... have you looked in "ABOUT:CONFIG"?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Set browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped to TRUE in about:config

  18. Peter Redding

    Well I like it

    I know it's personal preference but I do like it. I have it installed alongside FF2 though to make sure I don't break website stuff in 2 by fixing the design for 3.

    My personal preference aside, downloads!=installs. How many FF Fanatics downloaded it several times then deleted the superfluous files?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    I've been using FF3 since RC1...

    ...and I think it's a very worthwhile successor. The "awesome bar" as they call it is probably my favourite new feature, as it hasn't taken it long to learn what sites I want when I type the first few letters. It's also great for hunting out stuff from your history rather than opening the history window and searching for it. The title and icon being included helps to sort sites out quickly as well.

    As far as plugin compatibility goes, I just turned off the compatibility check. All my plugins worked flawlessly (which quite surprised me) aside from one. The only one that had a problem was Firebug and it was the minor loss of being able to execute Javascript code typed into the Firebug window.

    Speed is fantastic as well... in fact the speed is a problem as Javascript code I write and test on Firefox looks great and then I test it on IE6 and the performance turns to crap!

    All in all, I'm really happy with FireFox 3, and whatever version you use I think FF is the best browsing experience by far.

  20. Ralph

    Youtube missed a trick

    By making the Wii Fit Girl video a download only, they would have held the record first.

  21. Sim
    Thumb Down

    url bar

    @ Tom Kelsall

    yes i looked in about config

    it cannot be turned off

    @doc dish:that does not turn it off-it DOES NOT

  22. Paul Talbot


    Wow, that's possibly the most biased article I've read here without a certain hack with the initials A.O. being involved... Seriously, it's the first time this record attempt has been made, and every record has to be performed for the first time. Guinness will have had to approve the method it's recorded by in order to be accepted into the book, which it was. What's the problem with that exactly?

    ...and what the hell's up with the usual fools above complaining about pointless stuff? Don't like the new address bar? Type "turn off firefox 3 location bar" in Google and follow the idiot-proof instructions (293,000 results ATM).

    Can't live without certain extensions? Look the see if their authors have bothered updating them before updating Firefox. Yes, that's right *the authors of the extension*, which Mozilla aren't responsible for creating or maintaining.

    I'm happy with FF3 so far, like the location bar, love the new layouts for the addons and I like the new look. I have 5 installs of it so far, and only one of them counted toward the record so I'm sure a lot more than 8 million are using it.

  23. Edward Rose

    @Peter Redding

    Duplicate downloads were discounted (probably the extra 0.3m moz claimed). How many downloaded it and not installed it is the question you may wish to ask.

    And, el'reg, you of all people should know the importance of setting this record.

    It's nothing but a PR campaign. Everytime it is in the news, people will look and say...

    "Ooo, look, 8m people use it, I might give it a go." Hello mindless sheep, I'm looking at you!

  24. Steven
    Thumb Up

    Great Publicity For Open Source

    I think a lot of people are missing the point. The whole thing was a publicity stunt, and it certainly worked.

    IMO any publicity for the open source community is good, so well done Mozilla.

    (Using FF3 although didn't download on 'Download Day').

  25. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    FF3 fine.

    Most of my add-ons didn't work with 3, but then I started looking for comparable add-ons and found that there were many that were better. Being open-source I can only presume that Little Tommy worked on his mouse gesture add-on for a weekend, released it and never updated again. Maybe he doesn't even use it anymore.

  26. Sim

    @Paul Talbot

    I googled on turning off firefox3 urlbar -tried about config -discovered that it cannot be reverted to ff2 behaviour (ie turned off) only slightly crippled and even more useless to me,so I uninstalled it.

    You may call me a fool,I do not mind.I have an opinion of you too.

    When someone comes up with a working plugin to disable this unwanted feature I may install ff3. Yes i know theres a plugin called 'oldbar' - oldbar only affects the presentation of the results. The underlying autocomplete algorithm is still the Firefox 3 algorithm, not the Firefox 2 algorithm.

  27. David Jones


    If you don't like any aspect of open software you are free to fork it and beg/hire developers to make the changes you want. If you feel that strongly about it I suggest you put your money where your mouth is.

    Of course the same freedom is not afforded to users of proprietary software.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    World Record

    I understand the world record was more than zero, as the previous record has been quoted as the number of downloads of the previous version of the same software. That aside, I too downloaded it only the once, liked it so much (given I was using the whinedoez default Introvert exploiter it's not much of a competition) I used the same installer to add it to both my other machines - so again, the figure should be higher.

  29. Don Mitchell

    Windows Update > Firefox 3.0

    I'm sure the Paris Hilton sex tape broke that record easily, but if you want to restrict yourself to software downloads, let's consider Windows Update. That has to eclipse the Foxfire 3.0 downloads by a huge amount and on a regular basis.

  30. Sim

    FF3 No Thanks

    Old Location Bar 1.3

    not quite a full solution yet-but I am not the only person who thinks the awesome bar is not awesome at all.

    Another useful webpage "How to disable the Smart Location Bar"

  31. Tuomo

    Location bar

    Personally, I had to get the Fox3 from portable apps, as I can't live (or perhaps just use the interwebnets) without the new locationbar. Perhaps not awesome, but definitely great.

    [ What can you do with the fox2 location bar that you can't do with the fox3 bar..? ]

  32. zcat

    Update your own plugins!

    A good number of plugins will work just fine; download the xpi file and unzip it, edit 'install.rdf' and change maxVersion to 3.0, zip it back up. This has worked for all the plugins I've tried so far. Obviously there are some plugins that this won't work on, so proceed with caution..

  33. Tom Kelsall

    Skype users beware

    The Skype plugin crashes FF3 if you try the tricks and enable it... so don't! I had to start in safe mode to remove it.

  34. Chris
    Paris Hilton

    Why such animosity towards the record attempt?

    As someone else has said, it's PR. I saw it as nothing more than a bit of harmless fun and advertising.

    Let's face it, people are going to behave like sheep anyway, so what's the harm in Mozilla trying to gain a little more market share by hyping up a new release of Firefox?

    And for the record, I wanted to support the cause and downloaded Firefox during the record attempt.

    Paris, coz she's pretty firey.. and foxy... and I could say something sexually twisted about a record attempt at number of 'downloads' - but I won't!!

  35. Paul Blonde

    Give it a rest

    For all the people posting dumb, irrelevant "records", you could do well to re-read the article, perhaps 3 or 4 times. The record is about downloads of software in a day, not porn files in a day, not web pages in a day, but software downloads in a day. It was a pretty good publicity stunt, even if it will be far voershadowed by IE8's release (and would have been by IE7's if Microsoft had bothered to do something like this).

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