WordPress 3.2 Released Into The Wild; Downloaded More Than 330K Times In 24 Hours

WordPress 3.1 was downloaded over 15 million times in less than 5 months. But time marches on, and so does the music. Yesterday, WordPress 3.2, also known as “Gershwin”, was released to the public, and in just 24 hours, the latest iteration of the website and blogging platform has been downloaded over 330,000 times. They grow up pretty quickly these days.

Why are so many people downloading the latest iteration? According to Matt Mullenweg and company, the goal for WordPress 3.2 was “lighter and faster”, meaning that Gershwin makes a play at removing extra code, rewriting certain queries for speed optimization, etc.

User interface has also seen a little bit of tweaking as well, as you can see from the comparison between versions 3.1 (left) and 3.2 below:

Another cool feature of v3.2 is what WordPress is calling “Distraction Free Writing” (DFW), which replaces “Full Screen” mode, with a new mode that has the dashboard fade into the background while the user writes to offer a less cluttered viewing experience. The team is also calling this “zen mode”, and apparently users are liking it so far.

According to Mullenweg, beyond an attempt to make the entire WordPress experience faster and some tweaks to admin design, the team has also updated the default theme to be compatible with micro-blogging, HTML5 and to work on any screen size. All much needed enhancements. (For full disclosure, TechCrunch runs on WordPress)

This is WordPress’s 15th major release, and the website platform now boasts over 15,000 plugins. What’s more, WordPress 3.2 will not be compatible with Internet Explorer 6, something that Microsoft actually seems quite happy about.

Contributors to WordPress will also now be given credit in a “Credits Screen”, so that finally credit may be given where credit is due to all those that have participated in the open source development of new WordPress iterations.

For a full rundown of all the new updates to Gershwin, check them out here.