Mozilla Sets June 17 for Firefox 3 'Download Day'

Mozilla will release the next version of its Firefox browser on Tuesday and attempt to set a Guinness World Record for software downloads.

The company has deemed June 17 "Download Day," part of a campaign unveiled on May 28 asking users to download Firefox 3 on the first day it is released to set what very well may be the geekiest world record ever -- the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours.

To help its cause, Mozilla is hosting a Download Day event, the Camp Firefox BBQ, at its offices in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday. The company also has asked Firefox fans 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.

Release Candidate 3 of Firefox 3 is currently available online for free download. A list of the browser's new features also is available online.

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.

In response, Microsoft has had to add new features to IE in an effort to make it more innovative. On Wednesday, the company unveiled new features for IE's next version, IE 8, aimed at making deploying and managing the browser easier for IT professionals. IE 8 beta 2 is scheduled to be available in August.

The browser even has its own fan page (sign-in required) on the Facebook social-networking site, with 91,205 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.

More information about how users can participate in Download Day is available on the campaign's Web site.

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