March 23, 2011, 12:30 PM — Mozilla's new Firefox 4 browser was downloaded more than 4.7 million times since its release Tuesday, doubling the 24-hour download rate of Internet Explorer 9, which was made available last week.
(Also see: Ballmer turns to geeks to save his own butt)
While this may seem bad for Microsoft to the untrained eye, it's actually a massive win for Redmond, as chief executive Steve Ballmer explains in this leaked* memo obtained by ITworld:
To: IE9 team
Re: Firesucks 4
I'm sure you've all just read that downloads of Firesucks 4 were twice the number of IE9 downloads over the first day that each was available. To this I have three things to say:
Don't allow the Redmond haters to spin this as some sort of "defeat" for us. It's not. It's actually a great victory!
Why, you ask? Simple: It means that twice as many browser users initially will be exposed to the open-source crappiness of Firesucks 4 than will be dazzled by the elegance and simplicity of IE9. Sooner or later these Firesucks 4 users will become disenchanted by the alleged "faster page loading" -- which our internal research shows actually turns off people who want to "savor" their Internet experience -- and built-in WebM video and WebGL 3D graphics. Who in their right mind wants that sort of complexity in their browsers? Some European socialist, probably. Laugh Out Loud!
Once the Firesucks 4 users realize they've been scammed, who will they turn to? Chrome? Are you kidding? Other than search -- and I say that grudgingly -- Google can't do anything right. We're already kicking Android's ass in the mobile OS market with WP7. Well, we will be, starting next year or maybe the year after. Not that mobile really matters.
At the end of the day, Redmond always wins the war because we have a secret weapon our competitors lack: DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Plus FUD. And lawsuits. Let's not overlook those.
Keep up the superb work, and have a Microsoftastic day!
P.S. If one of you doesn't get into my office right now to fix my hanging browser, I'm going to throw another goddamned chair across the room. I'm not kidding.
* Fake (in case you're wondering)
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.