We noted Firefox 3's spectacular eight million downloads in a day when discussing the recent launch of IE9, and that mark shall live on as a record for another day. Firefox 4 looks to have a had a thoroughly successful debut, going past the five million milestone within the first 24 hours of its release, but it hasn't quite been able to overshadow its predecessor. And before you go comparing its numbers to the latest Internet Explorer, do be cognizant that FF4 released on a wider set of platforms, rendering direct stat comparisons a little dicey. That's not stopping StatCounter, however, who notes that the latest Firefox already has a 1.95 percent share of the browser market, almost exactly double what IE9 can claim so far. Better get working on that XP compatibility, eh Microsoft?

Update: Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs has the final stats for the first 24 hours and it's actually even higher than we thought: 7.1 million downloads around the globe. That's in addition to three million users already running the release candidate for Firefox 4, which turned into the final release. Good work!

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Firefox 4 Hits the Ground Running and Eclipses Internet Explorer 9 - StatCounter

BOSTON & DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mozilla Firefox 4, which was launched yesterday (Tuesday 22nd March), has already taken 1.95% of the worldwide Internet browser market according to StatCounter, the free website analytics company. The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats reports that on the first day of its release Firefox 4 scored higher globally than Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 9 which was launched more than a week ago.*

Although IE 9 has undoubtedly been hampered by its lack of compatibility with Windows XP.

Firefox 4 has really hit the ground running and has eclipsed the launch of IE 9," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "Although IE 9 has undoubtedly been hampered by its lack of compatibility with Windows XP." By yesterday IE 9 had taken just 0.87% of the worldwide market.

When all versions of each browser are taken into account, Internet Explorer still leads the global market with 45% followed by Firefox with 30% and Chrome with 17%. In the US, IE (all versions combined) leads the market with 48% followed by Firefox on 26% and Chrome on 14%.

On a monthly basis, StatCounter figures show a steady decline in the IE global market share from 55% in February last year to 45% this year. In the same time frame Google's Chrome has risen steadily from 7% worldwide to 17%.

StatCounter recently reported that Firefox overtook Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) to become the number one browser in Europe for the first time in December 2010.

StatCounter Global Stats are based on aggregate data collected on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month (4 billion from the US) from the StatCounter network of more than three million websites.

StatCounter, which provides free website stats, publishes browser version stats via StatCounter Global Stats, a free online research tool. It also monitors other Internet market share battles including Social Media.

* IE 9 and Firefox 4 were both available for beta testing prior to their respective launch dates

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Firefox 4 clocks up 7.1 million downloads within first 24 hours, fails to beat Firefox 3 record (updated)