Firefox 3 download day on June 17, and their claim about "most downloaded software"

Jun 16, 2008

Firefox 3 will be released on June 17, this coming Tuesday. They say they are trying to set a Guinness World Record with "most software downloads in 24 hours".

I'm looking forward to trying it out. I haven't tried the betas or RC-s, as a while ago I made a point of not installing beta software unless it's super essential. Many people say FF3 is nice, and some say it's ugly. We'll see.

But I want to talk about this "most software downloads". I think Skype should look into setting this record instead of FF. Firefox currently has 1,303,700 download pledges on their page. We'll see how many materialize. But on any given day, I think Skype has download count of equal magnitude. They have this obscure feed to track downloads that I set up a long long time ago and that seems to continue to exist. Just now, it showed me 2555 downloads over 15 minutes. Assuming this rate over 24 hours, this gives us 245,280 downloads over 24 hours. But I'm sure it's a low rate, as Europe is sleeping and all in all it's a nice summer Sunday. So I'm thinking this is the minimum download rate of Skype and there are actually many more over the course of time. (Skype Numerology has many other similar and much more detailed calculations.)

On the other hand, serving this magnitude of downloads is not so easy. I know Skype and many other vendors trickle their downloads across time so as to keep the system operational. I'm wondering to see how it works out for Firefox as they try to encourage everyone to download on the same day.