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Download Day: The perils of shooting for a world record

Firefox down
So you may have heard that Mozilla is hoping to set a world record for the most software downloads in a single day today. The company has been hyping today as "Download Day" for about a week. But a more apt name might be "Down Day." That's because is down. As in dead, kaput, service unavailable.

This probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but if you encourage millions of users to download your software on the same day, your servers are going to take a hammering. But it appears that even Mozilla had no idea how many people would be trying to download Firefox 3 today.

There's a good chance that you may get through if you keep hitting refresh. And there's a good chance that the company will manage to break the world record if it ever gets the servers back up. But you know what? If you don't really care about setting a world record, Firefox 3 RC 3 is pretty much identical to Firefox 3 final. So if you're already running RC2 or RC3, there's no need to kill yourself trying to update your browser today. Tomorrow, next week, or even next month will probably be soon enough.

In the meantime, if you've got your heart set on downloading a next-generation browser, you can always take Opera 9.5 for a spin. That company's servers are holding up just fine.

Update: Some users are reporting success with these download links. Windows, Mac, Linux

Update 2: It looks like the site is back up, but incredibly slow. Like dialup slow.

Tags: browsertips, download-day, firefox, firefox-3, getfirefox, opera, web-browsers, world-record