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Firefox 4 downloads top IE9 launch as Android and Maemo release candidates arrive

firefox-iconThis is a good week for Mozilla. Firefox 4 was released less than 24 hours ago and it has already been embraced by 1.95 percent of the global browser market, web analytics firm StatCounter reveals. For comparison, Microsoft‘s competing Internet Explorer 9, which was released last week, had only taken a 0.87 percent share of the market as of yesterday.

In related news, Mozilla also made the release candidate versions of Firefox 4′s mobile edition available for Android and Maemo devices. In a blog post announcing the release, the company touts faster scrolling and “better responsiveness” with Firefox Sync, and features like the new “Awesome Screen,” which provides centralized access to bookmarks, history and open tabs, tabbed browsing and Firefox Add-ons. Helpfully, there is also a link included which Firefox Add-on developers can follow to get help converting their work to be compatible with the new browser.

Mobile users, be aware: the phone-friendly Firefox 4 is a release candidate, which is an upgrade from the beta phase but it’s still not necessarily ready for primetime. You are almost certainly safe to download and use it, but know that you might run into occasional errors or discover that the functionality is not all that it is cracked up to be.

Whenever the final version does arrive, Firefox 4 Mobile will be Mozilla’s first official release in the mobile space. Based on what we’ve seen of it so far, the software developer seems to have picked up a few pointers from the competition.