Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 will be available starting March 14 at 9 p.m. PST. Microsoft hopes the new browser will draw users over Firefox and Google Chrome.
prepping to release the final version of Internet Explorer 9 on March 14,
starting at 9 p.m. PST.
According to a
March 9 posting on The
, that final launch date would be exactly 12 months from the
first Platform Preview of IE9, the company's newest browser and its latest hope
in deflecting competition from aggressive upstarts such as Mozilla Firefox and
recently made the Release Candidate for IE9 available at www.BeautyOfTheWeb.com
. That RC
incorporated some 17,000 pieces of user feedback, with an eye toward building
on the browser's beta advances in performance, standards, user experience,
privacy and safety. Some 25 million people downloaded the beta.
Candidate supported geo-location, WebM video (with the installation of a V8
code on Windows), and playback of H.264-encoded video using the HTML5 video
tag. According to the SunSpider benchmark, the RC is also 35 percent faster
than IE9 beta.
At the same
time Microsoft's heralding the new, it's also attempting to slam
through the heart of the old: The company recently launched a
Website, "The Internet Explorer 6
that encourages users to migrate from the increasingly
antiquated and vulnerable browser. Despite possessing only a tiny market share
in the United States (2.9 percent), IE6 continues to hold a significant portion
of the market in countries such as China (34.5 percent) and South Korea (24.8
"The Web has
changed significantly over the past 10 years," reads a note on the Website.
"The browser has evolved to adapt to new Web technologies, and the latest
versions of Internet Explorer help protect you from new attacks and threats."
IE6 may be too
slow and vulnerable, but Microsoft is pouring considerable resources into
ensuring that IE9 launches in suitably up-to-date form. The company has spent
the past several months arguing that IE9 will leverage both HTML5 and Windows 7
to deliver rich content faster. However, Windows XP users who want to use the
browser will need to upgrade to either Windows Vista or Windows 7, a
development that could leave a not-insignificant amount of users in the
a substantial lead in the browser market for many years, a development that
contributed significantly to its antitrust issues with the federal government.
In recent years, however, rival browsers such as Firefox have eaten into
Internet Explorer's substantial lead, driving Microsoft to streamline IE9 into
a more competitive animal: The new browser features a number of performance and
aesthetic tweaks, such as consolidating the search and address bars, intended
to give it a next-generation feel.