The open-source browser Firefox passed its billionth download on Friday, July 31 ahead of the release of its fourth iteration. The milestone includes downloads of all versions of the web software since its first release in 2004.
Figures suggest that Firefox now has nearly one third of the browser market worldwide, at 31%. Microsoft's Internet Explorer still dominates the field with around 60%, whilst Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari and Opera are all less than 5%.
Microsoft is currently in talks with the European competition regulators, which ruled in January that pre-bundling Internet Explorer with the company's Windows operating system hurt competition.
The browser, developed by the Mozilla Foundation, has quickly become a favorite with web surfers since its launch in 2004.
Last year, the foundation set a new Guinness world record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours when the third version of Firefox was downloaded more than eight million times.
Mozilla developers are currently working on the fourth iteration of the software, and earlier this week, it showed off screenshots of the next version of the browser, Firefox 4.0. I have been using it almost exclusively since it came out. It is great and offers many free add-ons.