Firefox 3, the latest version of the open source web browser put out by Mozilla, has now been available for download about 24 hours. Check out the "Download Map Page". It shows which areas of the world are downloading the most and there's a running total tally at the bottom of the page.

As of this writing around 9am EST this morning, the number of downloads was 6.5 million and counting.

Mozilla is pushing Firefox fans to help them set a Guiness World Record for the most downloads in a 24 hour period. If the current record is on the site, for the life of me I can't find it. Don't think that's not on purpose.

As always, I see the brilliance of marketing in these things. If the record to beat was posted on the site, people might put off downloading the new browser once the magic number hit.

Okay, enough marketing however. Back to Firefox 3.

Mozilla is making some pretty heady claims about their new browser, including:

- It's up to three times faster than Firefox 2.
- It boasts more than 15,000 new features (how is that possible?)
- one click bookmarking (sounds good to me. how about better organization of bookmarks?)
- tighter security
- built-in spell checking (they know me well).
- more customization (I've already got the University of Texas skin on my Firefox 2 browser. I love the OU button with the red slash across it. I really don't need anything more beyond that.)

In the interest of not becoming part of the story, I am waiting until the 24 hour record setting frenzy has past, before I download the new version. Stay tuned tomorrow, I will tell you what I think of the new version then.

I notice Mozilla claims Firefox 3 is 2-3 times faster on Macs. No word on PCs.