In the first week of its release, the Firefox Web browser has already tallied more than 20 million downloads with a real-time heat map recording the activity.
Generally available on Wednesday, Firefox 4 is the much-anticipated next generation browser developed by Mozilla Corporation and volunteers, and includes an improved user interface and faster page loading times.
A new bookmark button and “app tab” aim to simplify access to frequently used websites and the URL bar gets renamed to “Awesome” bar and can search history, bookmarks and tabs.
The previous generation of Firefox, version 3, was released in mid-2008.
Firefox is open source and available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and most recently, the Android mobile operating system.
An interesting “heat map” of download activity is online at http://glow.mozilla.org/ where cities “light up” when someone there has downloaded Firefox 4.
Download number statistics are available at a global, national, regional and even city level.
The location of the download is determined by the downloader’s IP address.
Most of the activity is in Europe and North America with more than 8.2 million and 6.6 million downloads, respectively.
In Oceania (mainly Australia and New Zealand) there have been 340,000 downloads at the time of writing and it’s still growing fast.
The third most popular global region is Asia with more than 3.2 million downloads followed by South America with 1.3 million.
The global download rate is maintaining a steady pace at slightly more than 5000 per minute, or around 80 every second.
It is unclear whether the download statistics include the Android version, but according to Google the app is already in the one to five million downloads bracket.
All the new releases emphasise improvements in design and usability.
According to reports, Firefox 4 is being downloaded at a faster rate than IE 9.
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