Updated Firefox browser eyes world download record

SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, 2008 (AFP) – Mozilla on Tuesday released an improved version of its Firefox web browser that has gained popularity as a free alternative to Microsoft’s ubiquitous Internet Explorer. Mozilla said Firefox 3 promises Internet surfing that is fast, secure, and easy to customize because it is designed to adapt to people’s online activities.

The company claimed the new Firefox version, available in 50 languages, is at least twice as fast as its predecessor and boasts “15,000 improvements” including malware protection.

“We’re really proud of Firefox 3 and it just shows what a committed, energized global community can do when they work together,” Mozilla chief executive John Lilly said in a release.

The Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit organization that builds and refines public, open-source software in a collaborative manner with input from engineers around the world.

Mozilla is rallying devotees to help it set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours.

But interest in the Mountain View, California, organization’s new-generation browser was so intense before its release Tuesday that traffic to the Mozilla website caused it to