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Perspectives on Apache OpenOffice 3.4 download numbers

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You may have read, on the Apache OpenOffice blog, news that the project has had 5 million downloads in the first 6 weeks since the release of version 3.4. And as the above chart shows, the download rate has increased in the past two weeks, as we’ve started to roll out the upgrade notifications to OpenOffice.org 3.3 users.

When I mention the “5 million” achievement, the reaction is generally along the lines of, “That’s excellent !!! Right? That is good, isn’t it?” The fact is the number is large, but without comparison or context, it is hard to gauge. I think I can provide some comparisons and context to put these numbers in perspective.

First, let’s look at OpenOffice.org 3, and their famous claim of 100 million downloads. That was in the time period from October 13, 2008 to October 28, 2009, so 380 days. That averages out to around 260K downloads/day. I’m not quite sure what they counted as a “download”, whether just full installers, or language packs as well. And that time period overlaps with several releases (3.0.0, 3.0.1, 3.1.0 and 3.1.1, so there is some double, triple and quadruple counting of users due to upgrades.

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