Firefox 3 Reaches 20 Million downloads in 7 Days, Opera – 4.5 Million Downloads in 5 Days

By | June 25, 2008

DownloadsIt’s been 7 days since Firefox 3 launch and so far it was downloaded more than 20 million times, 8 290 908 downloads were in 24 hours.

What is surprising is that Opera 9.5 was downloaded more than 4.5 million times in 5 days. By comparing their market share data:

Firefox, May 08 – 18.41%
Opera, May 08 – 0.71%

and download numbers, you can see that while Firefox has 25x times more market share than Opera does, it’s only 1/4 ahead (in downloads count) which is quite surprising.


About (Author Profile)

Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

Comments (37)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. It’s funny, the multiple is about the same as the quantity of memory Firefox would need to add on to be as functional as Opera.

  2. Nico Zandberg says:

    Wow that’s great news for Opera. They must be doing something right. I for one thought firefox would kill opera. Compare their approach of just asking opera’s community to spread the word to that of firefox giving people a chance to become part of a wr. Just show how firmly people stand behind opera. That’s what you get if you care and listen to your user base. Two thumbs up from a former firefox man.

  3. QC says:

    Linux users that use repositories, who isn’t counted? Users who download from torrent or other mirrors and isn’t counted?
    Also, part of the opera downloads might be users who are trying it out and decide they don’t like it. There’s also (albeit few) people who download it just to test locally on sites under development.
    Also, you have some opera users who fake their user agent.

  4. Nico Zandberg says:

    Opera also get downloaded by torrents the browser itself can download torrents by default. And a lot of people just downloaded firefox for the record and i’m pretty sure more than a few firefox users faked downloads. All your arguments can apply to both browsers. I really thing this is a major achievement by opera by all accounts. But what does faking user agents have to do with browser downloads? It’s not a traffic count it’s a download count?

  5. Örn Arnarson says:

    The largest group of users of Firefox are probably linux users, seeing as how it is the default browser in most distributions. Most of those downloads will go through the package repositories and will not be counted. I’m sure it is as Nico Zandberg says, and a lot of users downloaded both to try to set a record, which would actually explain more the downloads of Opera rather than Firefox, but the large market share in Firefox is most likely due to the repositories. Opera isn’t available through Ubuntu’s repository (not through official channels at least), and I’m sure that goes a long way to explain this discrepancy.

  6. Örn Arnarson says:

    Scratch the part about people trying to set a record explaining the number of downloads for Opera rather than FF, if you can. I’m sure it’s about the same ratio. The rest still stands though.

  7. euux says:

    In winXP i used Opera. Opera on Ubuntu was not that nice, quite buggy.

    Opera used to be faster than Firefox – not with Firefox-3.0 out;
    by far, FF3.0 is faster than Opera.

    Opera is a great all-in-one Suite. I still miss Opera Mail Client.

    Still hope that Opera gets to work on Linux as quick and reliable as in winXP.
    Or that Thunderbird gets to be as fast handling and searching mails as Opera.

  8. Opera says:

    In Opera there is a user friendly dropdown to identify as Internet Explorer or Firefox. People may be using this option due to bad browser detection on websites so they can see the sites, (skewing stats…) Opera is great and I set the option to Opera to represent except when necessary, but I assume that most people leave it on IE or FIrefox for convenience.

  9. bryan says:

    that makes sense to me

    I know lots of people who are in web development and we all download all the other browsers in order to test our work on them.

    we dont neccesarily use them as our standard – that’s what firefox is for!

  10. Nico Zandberg says:

    Euux? Did you read the previous article? Opera is still faster than firefox.

  11. Jimmy MoMO says:

    Wow, now there is NO DOUBT whatsoever. Firefox is the BEST browser ever! Go FireFox!

  12. euux says:

    No it is not… and i was able to sense it after installing add-ons on Firefox (those that make it work more like Opera – sidebar, context menu, quick proxy, browser user agent id changer, adblock, session manager..)

    But, upon search, i’ve found some numbers and FF is ~30% faster – because of is new engine … feature that Opera hasn’t changed for a while (the one that was faster than FF2.x). In that same test FF3.0 still used more memory than Opera.

  13. euux says:

    More search is always more informative.

    As pointed in this blog previous post, on several sites testing browser speed’s, Opera has been more times slightly better.

    But at the end this is a decision and.. i’m happy with FF3.0

  14. Horologium says:

    What’s happening is that a lot of people got pulled into the hype of FireFox 3.0 and downloaded it right away… and then realized that they were duped. FireFox 3.0 does not have any major enhancements (that work) and those that do work seem to be pretty much crap. So – after about an hour of trying to tweak it, they gave up, uninstalled it and downloaded the better browser – Opera.

  15. Mick says:

    Browser market share statistics are grossly distorted. I’ve done my own analysis and have concluded the follwing.

    Market share among people that really matter: Opera 100%

    Market share among elitist poseurs: Safari 100%

    Market share among naive pseudo intellectuals: Firefox 100%

    What’s a browser: Internet Explorer 100%

  16. Morbus says:

    Yup, I dowloaded opera to try it out and do some benchmarks. I never for a second thought I’d give my Firefox 3 + 80+ extensions up…

  17. Rio says:

    Morbus, the other intern in my office removed firefox 3 after 15 minutes of me showing him opera features lol. Now he doesn’t even see the need for an OS.

    Opera > All.

    P.S. We are both web developers for a major corporation.

  18. O_o says:

    HAHA I don’t know about everyone else but the reason I switched to opera after this firefox release is because firefox keeps on crashing on a BUNCH of websites and forums and on both of my computers. I can’t even view my favorite forum with firefox anymore so I had to switch.

  19. anything but ie says:

    I downloaded opera just to check out 9.5 and to do some testing. I use ff 3 as my main browser though.

    I suspect many other web developers, etc., do the same.

  20. guy says:

    As a web developer I have already started to do CSS3 stuff, which mostly work in Opera but some not in Firefox. Add User CSS and UserJS to that and you’ve got a powerful application.

  21. Jack at F&B says:

    Are you sure it’s not just all of those Wii players downloading the Opera browser and then rarely ever using it again?

  22. Meneer R says:

    You are not comparing the same numers.

    For the official firefox download count you are referring to, only unique ip’s are counted of people that signed a petition that they would download firefox. This is because of the rules governing the guinness book of records.

    I’m pretty sure a lot more people downloaded firefox without getting involved in the petition and record-attempt.

    Also, FF3 is the default browser in Ubuntu Hardy. Those downloads definately were not counted. So, that’s another 20 million _right there_. It is also the default browser in a lot of other distrobutions, but I don’t know the estimated install base of those distrobutions.

    Likewise Opera is not in the repositories, so we have to go to the site to get it, so the linux users of Opera _do get counted_. Finally, all web developers alone need to have opera installed. Considering there are about 100 million web-developers out there, 4.5 million seems shockingly low.

    The first I do when a new browser (beta, alpha) comes out, is _test drive_ all thel live sites I maintain.

    Finally, a lot of people, _upgraded_ firefox from within. Those were also not counted. Perhaps Opera supports something simelar? All in all, i don’t think the numbers mean anything.

    I’m more concerned with the actual market share. Which browser do people end up using to visit _this_ site for example?

    Finally, when it’s about compatibility, there are a lot of browsers out there that are using the gecko engine (like Epiphany) but which do not claim to be Firefox. About half of the ‘other’ category is also gecko rendering engine. The other half likely webkit/khtml.

  23. rhY says:

    Why all the Opera fans? It being a closed source browser almost guarantees that at some point your safety, freedom, and reliability will be severely compromised.

    Don’t you people understand the many, MANY benefits of open source?!?!

  24. Browser man says:

    Lol. Let me tell you rhy i’m an electronic engineer mastering in computer science. I’ve done a lot of research and work in open source and would never use an open source web browser. Someone thinking that using firefox is safer rather than a closed source browser is rather silly. I can give you some scary research on this subject. Personally i use opera but i know everybody has their own preference.

  25. jackthecoiner says:

    @ Browser man

    Cool. What a compelling argument against open source! You have scary research?! Wow… I’m sold.

    You can run along now and join the others in the Opera circle jerk.

  26. Shortshire says:

    I love ff3 and use it all the time but i’m an opera person. The reason I don’t use opera that much because there are less add-ons, sites break in it even thought it is the most compliant browser out there. FF3 is great but Opera is still my favorite and my preferred browser. FF3 had a bigger marketing budget than opera and that is why it won in downloads.

    Opera is still the only browser for the wii.

  27. nsrmbo says:

    My theory is Opera has a lot of niche market share (eg Russia).
    Globally the market share looks weak, but it has pockets of deep penetration.
    (heh heh… deep penetration.)

    PS hey commenters, enough with the “my browser’s daddy is going to beat up your browser’s daddy”

  28. Jon M says:


    “Why all the Opera fans? It being a closed source browser almost guarantees that at some point your safety, freedom, and reliability will be severely compromised.”

    You’ve been sucked in.

    The financial backers of Mozilla own and control Firefox as much as Microsoft controls IE. Having access to the source code doesn’t make the slightest difference in practical terms.

    Open source doesn’t actually achieve anything in the real world. It’s a marketing gimmick and a means of squeezing out the competition.

  29. Trigger says:

    Working with and using Firefox is of great help to developers as well. Since it compels the coders to maintain descipline in thier HTML, javascript coding. Which I think is the base level for all the website pages irrespective of the Technology(.NET or PHP).

  30. Haggard says:

    Firefox – Its leap to success and hunger to strive for more and get more, is very much appreciated. Even being a late enterant in the market, it is giving a tough time to the BIG GIANTS like IE- Microsoft.
    Firefox has made life easier for the browsers as well as the developers (web application). Its user friendly features are well thought of. It compels the developers to follow the W3 standards and adhere to its rule, then only it renders the pages, which itself helps reducing caos in future.
    Hats off to its Success in short time and also to the efforts they have out in to make this possible.

  31. Nico Zandberg says:

    Again the last two posts just shows how firefox gets marketed with wrong information. Firstly being open source does not make firefox any safer than a closed source browser. Then firefox has not been the most standard compliant for a long time. It started out trying to become that but developers stopped making this their number 1 focus after it became popular thus ensuring more sites work regardless of standards.

  32. euux says:

    Standards are worthless if they are to be monopolized.

    As I see it OpenSource is not just a marketing gimmick (albeit i’m glad it also is).

    And above all it’s not just way to squeezing out the competition.

    Consumers choose. Outcast competitors can always grab the successful (open) source code, improve it and sell it.
    I can be wrong… but that seems to be what happened with the much praised MacOSX.

    This gives merit to the ideas and to good code without allowing the enforcement of bad ideas. Its a Plus-Plus game to developers and consumers.

    So Opera is very much in the bad on this subject.
    What this says is that Opera team get comfort in the idea that: when (and if) they get market share they’ll be able to use that power to minimize market losses due to future incompetent products. (a la microsoft)
    But their contribution to present marked is welcomed.

    About the standards… diversity off html/javascript/etc interpreters always benefit the standards… even if they don’t fully comply with then – so thanks to opera and firefox, and…

  33. Well, myself I’m an Opera fan & user (Opera is my main browser), but still I was glad to try to help FF to reach their record. I downloaded FF both in my office and home on the mechines I work.

  34. Tomás says:


    Im not a developer… jus a user, that loves the fact that there’s choices and ps I hate Microsoft dominance.

    I used Firefox for years, and think its fantastic, its not only a gr8 browser but the contributions to its development from its users, makes me proud to support.

    But… for the last couple of years… I turned to Opera with my fav skin (meguiddo).. Looks are important to me… a streamlined browser, that has what you need at ur fingertips. Without being insulting to Firefox. To me its the difference between a supped up car, tuned, with bodykits and tons of ‘add on’s’ and a Porsche allready sleek, with very little to change… Id take the Porsche… Its a matter of choice though I respect that.. Opera whilst lacking choice for user led enhancement… is just simply too perfect and smooth… it’s looks all the way.

    People suprised here, that so many would be out in support of opera, should remember… IE is the enemy… Thumbs up to choice… ;)