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29May
2008
Sorry Firefox, Download Day Won't Set Any Records

Download Day 2008 is a planned attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in a single day. As per the FAQ, they'll need over 1.6 million downloads, but want to shoot for 5 million. Which is nice, but sorry Firefox, that'll be no record. Flash Player blows that number away daily, not the 1.6 number, I mean the 5 million number. There have been over a billion downloads of Flash Player this year alone (less than 5 months), which averages out to over 6 million a day. And we've actually publicly stated that we've had days where downloads exceeded 10 million in a day. Don't get me wrong, I love Firefox, use it almost exclusively, and will definitely be downloading Firefox 3. But a Guinness World Record? Sorry, that's quite unlikely.

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Comments (23)



  • Keith Woods

    Ben, I know you to be a thoughtful, respectful author, but I'm a little disappointed you chose to use the firefox download effort as a fulcrum/platform for extolling the download numbers of Flash player.

    If there were a spot on the "spread firefox" website that criticized Adobe or otherwise issued some sort of direct challenge, then I'd see your response as being rational.

    Failing that, I can't help but think you're looking for easy targets and making "apples and oranges" comparisons in an effort to create animosity where none exists.

    #1Posted by Keith Woods | May 29, 2008, 02:15 PM
  • phill.nacelli

    @Keith

    I think what Ben is trying to say here is that if they really want to break this world record, that they need to set the bar higher since 5 million downloads in one day is nowhere near what Adobe experiences on their servers on average! I have also signed up and look forward in taking part of Download Day, however if we are going to shoot for a record, then let's make it 15 million, or 1 gsadgsosudgsagdillion (little reference to Dr. Evil here!!!).

    Cheers..

  • jfish

    @Keith,

    I hardly see it as any sort of ad hominem attack, it's simple statement by a dedicated employee that 5 million, let alone 1.5 million, cannot reasonably be considered a Guiness World Record, by definition. Not quite an attack, really, more of a reality check from someone who has access to real log numbers that clearly lay out a flaw in the proposal.

    #3Posted by jfish | May 29, 2008, 02:39 PM
  • Jim Priest

    And how are these downloads measured? If there is a purported +98% saturation of Flash already out there - who are the 10 million a day downloading it? It's been a long time since I've bought a new Windows box but isn't Flash usually preinstalled? Is it people upgrading?

    I don't think the Firefox download numbers will be any better defined but the Flash #'s have always puzzled me...

  • Russell Brown

    Just think of all the new Flash Plug-in downloads that will have to be done with everyone downloading a new browser :)

    I do think that comparing a full application download (7.4mb) to a plug-in (1.4mb) for all browsers is a bit of apples and oranges, but I get your point.

    Lets face it all they really care about is creating a buzz and I'm certainly willing to jump on the bandwagon.

  • Observer

    Ben, I belive the record pertain to "voluntary" download for applications. If you count Flash Player, I am sure Microsoft has the record with some unwanted patch or component.

    #6Posted by Observer | May 29, 2008, 05:43 PM
  • David McGuigan

    Keith Woods buddy! Holy cry baby!

    Ben expressed absolutely NO negativity or "criticism" in his post, let the hell alone purveyed any semblance of an attitude of "animosity". Holy CRAP. HE USED THE WORDS "I love Firefox [and] use it almost exclusively".

    And Ben's blog is the EXACT, PERFECT, WHOLLY APPROPRIATE FULCRUM/PLATFORM TO EXTOL THE DOWNLOAD OF THE FLASH PLAYER. Before I read your comment I literally thought to myself, "I'm so glad I read Ben's blog. I had no idea the Flash player was being updated that actively."

    It's TOTALLY APPLICABLE, TOTALLY VALUABLE INFORMATION, TOTALLY RELEVANT TO THE POST, USER-BASE, AND PLANNED RECORD SETTING ATTEMPT. On top of which, almost NONE of what Ben said was opinion. It was basically a list of facts. Useful, interesting facts.

    Quick. Favor. Grow. Up. Thanks.

  • MJ

    @jim,
    I guess if I uninstall firefox/IE/Safari/Opera, then re-install them, I mean download a new version to re-install them. They use the same method to calculating. So, please dont be puzzled.

    #8Posted by MJ | May 30, 2008, 03:16 AM
  • Keith Woods

    I'd like to apologize for my post. I've carefully reconsidered, and understand my error. Thank you for taking the time to correct me.

    In the interest of making amends, let's agree to work on this together:

    1) How about putting adobe's download stats into the record books (if it isn't already)? We can't have anyone threatening our superiority. Who knows when someone on another open source project somewhere might post something we disagree with! Any volunteers?

    2) Let's agree to spend part of each day (even if we're not paid Adobe Evangelists) surfing the web and looking for other--even unrelated--projects we can compare ourselves to. It doesn't matter, really, if we're competitors with those products, just as long as we can show we have better numbers.

    3) A letter-writing campaign to Ted Patrick. He hinted (as I did, when i was in error) that the methodology behind these assertions was incorrect. He needs to be "corrected.: Perhaps something like: "Quick. Favor. Grow. Up. Thanks" -- that seems to work for me!

    Thanks again!

    #9Posted by Keith Woods | May 30, 2008, 06:21 AM
  • radekg

    Ben, if what you stated is true then why Flash Player does not have Guiness record?

    #10Posted by radekg | May 30, 2008, 06:44 AM
  • Ben Forta

    Just to be clear, I did not attack or criticize Firefox or this effort. Actually, I am a big fan of grass roots viral type campaigns like this. Heck, I pledged to download FF3 on the site to do my part.

    But, at the same time, I am definitely going to point out the fundamental flaw in the campaign. They have set their sites far too low. Although, maybe they should follow Russel's suggestion and measure total MB downloaded. That actually may be far better for them. Regardless, 1.6 million, and even 5 million, will not earn them a place in the record books.

    Jim, you raise a good point. There are far more Flash downloads than there are connected computers to the Internet! Fun, huh? Part of it is lots of updates, and part of it is needing to reinstall when installing a new browser (like FF). The numbers are absolutely astounding.

    As for why Flash does not have a Guinness World Record entry? Honestly, I don't know. It could be that no one ever submitted it. And actually, while I know that Flash is the single most downloaded piece of software of all time, I don't know for a fact that it's the most downloaded in a single day.

    --- Ben

    #11Posted by Ben Forta | May 30, 2008, 10:28 AM
  • Michael

    Part of the problem of the Guinness World Records is that most of the entries are submitted. If you want to break a record you may need to have GWR witness the record happening. In the case of land speed records you have to break it twice in a sort time frame. Number of downloads in a day is a new category, I am sure there will be may people who submit to break the "record" set by Mozilla. GWR was created by Guinness to solve bar bets and therefore serves as an "official" guide only (IMO); just like Wikipedia can be wrong in places so can GWR.

    #12Posted by Michael | May 30, 2008, 12:14 PM
  • Jake Munson

    Michael is right. From the FAQ page for this download day project:
    "This is the first record attempt of its kind so there is no set number. We'd really like to outdo the number of Firefox 2 downloads on its launch day, which was 1.6 million. Let's shoot for 5 million--the sky is the limit!"

    So to get the record, they just have to submit a number. And then Adobe could break the record the next day, if they submit their number for Flash downloads.

  • Luke Hansen

    Ben, Firefox is trying to set the record for number of unique complete downloads of the whole application. Not upgrades, not retries because the first download didn't work. I had to download flash player 9 four times to get it to work. I have IE 7 Opera and Firefox 3 RC1. Do your numbers include multiple downloads, and partial downloads? Do you even know? It seems to me that you are kindly trying to say the "we hold the record not them," but have only been given the rough PR numbers. I would like to see a break down of your 10 million download mark into how many were complete downloads from unique users.

    #14Posted by Luke Hansen | May 31, 2008, 11:38 AM
  • David McGuigan

    Keith:
    Wow, I'm really impressed. It takes a lot of courage to just come right out like that and admit that you were wrong / being really really really really really really silly.

    I'm glad I could help. I just hope that if I'm ever saying ridiculous, paranoid, my-parents-were-cousins things on the Internet that someone will have the nuts to point it out and correct me.

    You're welcome.

  • Steve Elliott

    I take it that you are not a fan of Flash Player then Luke?

    To be honest, I'm staggered at any application being downloaded over a billion times, no matter how good (or bad).

    What does that represent as a percentage of total internet users (per head)?

  • Simon

    How many of them people actually went and manually downloaded Flash?

    How many of them people had it automatically downloaded for them by their browser?

    How many people will get an update to FF3 via the automatic update of FF2?

    #17Posted by Simon | Jun 13, 2008, 10:15 AM
  • Ramon Casha

    There is a difference here. It's not simply a record for your computer to download software for you because it's got an automatic update routine. These are actual people (specimens of homo sapiens) opting to go to a website and downloading it. If it's automated updates, Microsoft would win with its Windows update every time there's a new patch released to break something else in your system.

    #18Posted by Ramon Casha | Jun 15, 2008, 01:30 AM
  • cbsim

    is over 7 million now

    #19Posted by cbsim | Jun 18, 2008, 11:17 AM
  • Keith Woods

    Check out http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/ =

    Total Downloads = 9,725,165

    In spite of some early technical glitches, they apparently they got over 8 million downloads in 24 hours, and the Guinness Book of World Records folks are reviewing their claim.

    in the mean time, for those of us who participated, feel free to grab a certificate at:

    http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/certificate_form" target="_blank">http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/cer...

    Pretty cool!

    #20Posted by Keith Woods | Jun 18, 2008, 10:06 PM
  • Wii

    I downloaded it on day one and was hoping to be part of the record breaking attempt.

    #21Posted by Wii | Nov 24, 2008, 06:54 PM
  • Free DSi

    Firefox cant win everything. Although 6 million a day average is a hell of alot of downloads. They must have so crazy servers to support the traffic!

    <a href=http://www.something4free.net>Free PS3</a>

    #22Posted by Free DSi | Apr 5, 2009, 04:38 PM
  • free dsi

    I guess if I uninstall firefox/IE/Safari/Opera, then re-install them, I mean download a new version to re-install them. They use the same method to calculating. So, please dont be puzzled.

    #23Posted by free dsi | Jul 31, 2009, 12:41 PM