Mozilla shooting for record books with Firefox 3 release

Mozilla is aiming to create what may be the geekiest world record ever with its upcoming Firefox 3 browser release.

The company on Wednesday started a campaign asking users to pledge to download the next full release of its browser on the day it is available so the release can set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours.

Mozilla has not yet unveiled exactly when Firefox 3 will be available, but expects it could be as soon as mid-June. A test release of Firefox 3 is currently available online.

The company is deeming the day of its release “Download Day” and is asking fans to not only pledge to download Firefox 3, but to host parties to encourage friends to download with them, and place “Download Day” buttons on their Web sites as reminders of the big day.

Currently there is no world record for software downloads; Mozilla is trying to create one with Firefox 3 and its Download Day festivities.

According to the campaign’s Web site, once Download Day is over, Mozilla plans to provide the Guinness Book of World Records a signed statement of authentication from its judges showing that it followed rules for breaking records; the company also will confirm download numbers. Mozilla also plans to send video footage and photographs of Mozilla users hosting download parties as well as download logs for a sample size of Firefox 3 downloads to prove it has set a world record.

While the fanfare may seem a bit geeky, Firefox—released in November 2004—has inspired a significant and rather fervent fan base. This is in part because it was the first browser in years to give Microsoft’s Internet Explorer viable competition. The browser even has its own fan page (sign-in required) on the Facebook social-networking site, with 79,174 fans signed up and counting.

According to Mozilla, there are more than 175 million users of Firefox, which is available in more than 45 languages and used in more than 230 countries.

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