Firefox 3: of glitches and records

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You may have read about Firefox’s bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. So come May 17, I checked out the Mozilla home page to download Firefox 3 at the designated time of 10.30pm IST. Zip. Zilch. The site wasn’t opening. I figured that the server must have been overloaded and tried a few minutes later. Nothing. I was disappointed that despite the pre-launch hype the measures taken to anticipate the server load did not work. It is like announcing the launch of a retail outlet, creating pre-opening hype, attracting traffic and having the store closed.

The next morning, it was better but the download speeds on my usually reliable BSNL connection was pathetic. I could download it later – but I am told that this glitch was common across the web world. The initial hiccups apart, everything went fine with the browser downloads later. I even got a personalized ‘Thank You’ certificate!

Thankfully, Firefox 3 is spreading fast, claiming more than 4 percent of the share of Web browser usage less than 24 hours after its release. Isn’t the web wonderful? Zero-4% market share in 24 hours!

As I write, the download counter has just passed 8 million downloads. Over 2.3 million of those downloads have happened in the US (about 80,000 from India). It is good that IE is getting serious competition in the PC web browser space. Interesting to see IE responds with their next version.

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