The popular Firefox Web browser, developed by a grass-roots group, reached a major milestone Friday -- its billionth download.
The download counter rolled over the 1-billion mark early Friday, marking a feat for a browser that, unlike Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Apple's Safari, is run by a nonprofit organization, Mozilla, with fewer than 250 employees.
Despite its lack of big corporation backing -- or maybe partially because of it -- Firefox has become hugely popular worldwide. The free browser, which debuted in 2004, has received high marks for speed, efficiency, adaptability and user-friendliness.
Also, Firefox is built on open source software, with its programming code accessible to developers who want to make compatible, collaborative products, and even participate in its further development.