Today marked the 1 billionth download of Firefox, an incredible milestone in the history of the biggest open source project around. Here, let me put that into actual numbers:
1,000,171,095 (at last count)
That is a staggering figure for an open-source application that was officially released on November 9, 2004 (this is why I wanted to know the dates CBeard!).
I’m glad to say that I’ve been a part of every release, in some small way, since it’s early beta stages as it’s been my main browser since I first installed it as Mozilla Firebird. Seeing Firefox make such a dramatic positive impact on the lives of so many and doing so with Mozilla not abandoning it’s core principles of making the Internet better is truly an amazing feat.
Firefox helped to change the browser landscape & forced other players to rethink what’s okay to do (& what’s not okay). It’s just not a given anymore to assume that users will accept “lock-in” into proprietary implementations as the Firefox team continues to push efforts to enhance web standards & support better experiences through open platforms.
And this is a really good thing for the web as it will make projects re-evaluate what’s possible (and acceptable for the overall good of the Internet). Users will benefit from having a better portal to the web. As developers, we’ll benefit (hopefully!) from having less headaches when building apps. And all this will be achievable without the need for another billion downloads to open people’s eyes to the possibilities.