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Firefox Passes One Billion Downloads

The Mozilla community is celebrating Firefox's success with online and offline events.

Mozilla's Firefox browser has been downloaded over a billion times, an event the Mozilla community is using to launch a new evangelism campaign.

Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, estimates that the one billionth download took place at 7:47 A.M. Pacific Time on Friday.

To celebrate the event, Mozilla plans on Monday to launch, a Web site devoted rallying the Mozilla community and "as a hub of information concerning the billionth download of Firefox."

Asked to clarify what will actually be on the site, Mary Colvig, marketing manager for Mozilla said in an e-mail that the site "will reflect on how our community members around the world have helped improve the Web."

Whatever there is to be said about the billionth download, Mozilla expects to make it available in 22 languages

On the Mozilla blog, public relations intern Shannon Prior proclaims, "This is a monumental event -- Firefox has come a long way since its debut in November 2004, thanks to the amazing Firefox community."

While terms like "monumental" may seem more appropriate for moon landings than bit distribution, it's difficult to dismiss the apparent correlation between Mozilla's community-based marketing and the meteoric rise of Firefox.

Consider that six months after it launched in November 2004, Firefox had a global market share of over 8%, according to NetApplications. Six months after its launch in September 2008, Google Chrome had a global market share of just over 1%. Though the two browsers were not released under the same circumstances, there's clearly something to be said for passionate evangelism.

Firefox's one billion downloads have yielded about 300 million active users, enough to give Firefox about 30% of the global browser market, according to StatCounter. That's a larger community than Facebook.

Statistics from NetApplications have been under review for anomalies for about a month. In March, the company measured Firefox's global market share at just over 22%.

Fresh from the release of Firefox 3.5 last month, Mozilla is already planning Firefox 3.6.

Registration is now open for the leading enterprise communications event, VoiceCon. It happens in San Francisco, Nov. 2-5. Find out more and register.

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