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Brief: Firefox Surpasses 200 Million Downloads

Since its release, Firefox has grabbed about 15% of the market. Mozilla outlines a better way to measure the actual user base.

Mozilla has passed the 200 millionth download of Firefox, and has taken the opportunity to thank its most fervent fans for their work in supporing the open-source Web browser.

On the SpreadFirefox Web site Monday, Mozilla developer and community coordinator Asa Dotzler thanked the "tens of thousands" of affiliate members who use "buttons, banners, and links to spread the word about Firefox."

Although the 200 million download mark doesn't translate into that number of users -- some have downloaded multiple versions, others canceled the download, still others downloaded but don't regularly use Firefox -- Mozilla's has acquired about 15 percent of the global usage share in the nearly 21 months since it was released. In the same time span, Microsoft's Internet Explorer saw its share drop from the high 90s to just under 80 percent.

"This is a huge accomplishment and we're right to celebrate our role," Dotzler wrote on the site's home page.

He also outlined future goals for the group, including more affiliate incentives and a better way to measure the actual user base.

"At Mozilla, we've developed a much better system for measuring users than what we had when the [download] counter launched back in the Firefox 1.0 days," Dotzler said. "One of the things I'd like to see us do here at SFX is to transition away from counting download clicks and build tools that let us celebrate our very real and swiftly growing user base."

Last month, Mozilla unveiled Firefox 2.0 Beta 1; the final version is scheduled to release in late September.

Microsoft, meanwhile, continues work on the new Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP, which it has said will ship before the end of the year.

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