On second thought, don’t help Firefox set a record

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Some software experts have long warned customers not to buy anything from Microsoft until version 3.0, by which time most of the bugs are vanquished.

Evidently there also have been a fair number of folks waiting for version 3.0 of Firefox, the free open-source Web browser that is the biggest challenger to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The latest edition is faster, more secure and has other improvements.

More than 3 million people downloaded Firefox 3 today in the first few hours it was available, including some drawn by the Mozilla Foundation’s well-publicized attempt to set a world record for most downloads in a 24-hour period (actually, to establish one; Guinness doesn’t have a current record holder.)

But in the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department, the traffic exceeded the nonprofit group’s expectations and crashed the servers, rendering the download site unavailable for hours. As a temporary measure, Mozilla rolled back the clock and started re-offering Firefox 2.


As of this writing, though, Firefox 3 is once again open for business.

-- Joseph Menn

Firefox logo courtesy of the Mozilla Foundation