Mozilla yesterday became a victim of its own PR stunt as millions of eager users crashed the company’s servers 15 minutes before the scheduled release time for Firefox 3. Despite the initial hiccup, however, they recovered and managed to deliver more than 8 million copies of the popular open source browser in a 24 hour period.

Mozilla will make the record books for the most software downloaded in one day, seeing as the category is new and there’s really no Guinness World Record to beat, but the 8 million download number is still a notable achievement.

There’s a big difference between just downloading Firefox 3 and actually making it your primary browser, but (very) early statistics show the browser is spreading fast. According to Net Applications, which monitors browser usage at major websites, Firefox 3 claimed more than 4 percent share of web browser usage less than 24 hours after its release.