1,000,000,000: That’s a Lot of Zeros!

July 31st, 2009

In the early 2000’s about a million people would download a release of the Mozilla Application Suite, which was our product offering before Firefox and Thunderbird. We were extremely proud of this number. For 2000 or 2001 it was a very surprising number, quite large for an open-source consumer product. It was a tiny number compared to IE of course, and that product never cracked the barrier into general consumer awareness or adoption. But everyone who heard that number was astonished. In fact, that million-a-release download number helped us obtain some early support when we formed the Mozilla Foundation a couple of years later.

With Firefox, we had a million downloads well before the product reached a 1.0 phase — something like 3 million people were using Firefox as we came up to the 1.0 release in the fall of 2004. That’s partly how we sensed we had something big on our hands during the long summer of 2004 trying to finish the 1.0 version.

Today we crossed the billion download mark for Firefox. That’s an astonishing number. It reflects both the popularity of Firefox and the enormous growth of the web. The latter — the growth of the Internet — is not so surprising. The Internet is a fundamental tool for human interaction, it will grow for a while yet. The Firefox number is something else. Born of the impossible, coming into existence because it had to be, from a small band of seemingly outdated browser-centric dreamers to hundreds of millions of people.


13 comments for “1,000,000,000: That’s a Lot of Zeros!”

  1. 1

    Ken Saunders said on July 31st, 2009 at 10:34 am:

    Wow indeed.

    Congrats to Mozilla for this monumental achievement and thanks to all of the hippies that decided to go in a direction other than what the rest of us were being funneled through. Theirs ended up being the right one.

  2. 2

    jamey boje said on July 31st, 2009 at 11:57 am:

    congratulation team Mozilla especially & all the thousands volunteers, as I told Asa this morning if you could only see the smile on my face the goon squid would lock me up 😉 what a achievement I proud to be a small part of a great movement

  3. 3

    Debianero Rumbero said on July 31st, 2009 at 12:40 pm:


    I started with Netscape in 1995, then Mozilla suite and now Iceweasel (unbranded Firefox for Debian GNU/Linux).

    PS Never ever I’ve used IE.

  4. 4

    sdf said on July 31st, 2009 at 12:41 pm:

    Congratulations, Mozilla!

  5. 5

    Pingback from jamey boje (jameyboje) 's status on Friday, 31-Jul-09 21:38:20 UTC -

    […] […]

  6. 6

    Bright Garlick said on July 31st, 2009 at 11:25 pm:

    I think that you guys have done an incredible job at revolutionizing browsing. I love your can do manifesto and the fact that behind it is a desire to do good.

    I wonder what you guys might be able to do if you turn to activism – anything to do with the 4 bottoms line s – social, economic, environmental and spiritual. you could literally change the world and help break down so many barriers that blind our species.

    Well done.

  7. 7

    L4Linux said on August 1st, 2009 at 3:13 am:

    “PS Never ever I’ve used IE.”

    Than how do you know that Firefox is so good if you have never compared it with an inferior browser?? If it never rained, would you care for a sunny day??

  8. 8

    Debianero Rumbero said on August 1st, 2009 at 8:41 am:

    @L4Linux, because I’ve used Mosaic, Amaya and Opera 😉

  9. 9

    vikash said on August 4th, 2009 at 2:24 am:

    why to use fire fox when it doesn’t support java script code…give me one reason to use firefox with out javascipt

  10. 10

    Pingback from » Firefox: 10e8 dowload in 5 anni…… UAU!

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  11. 11

    Avery said on August 8th, 2009 at 4:55 am:

    nice milestone for Mozilla.

  12. 12

    Lee B said on August 9th, 2009 at 4:34 am:


    Um, Firefox does support JavaScript..

    In fact, FF3 supports all the new standards, which makes it the perfect browser to use.
    Sleek, fast, maintained..

    I’m surprised we didnt get this milestone quicker.
    More and more people are realising the power of Open Source software, and this number will only get bigger and bigger 🙂

    On a side note, congratulations 🙂

  13. 13

    rich said on August 13th, 2009 at 11:46 am:

    I like the product A LOT, and will support this product. One thing I had problems with was my settings being changed font size and media player errors any suggestions on how to fix this.

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