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Internet Explorer 9 final to go live March 15

updated 12:30 pm EST, Wed March 9, 2011

Internet Explorer 9 finished, due March 15

Microsoft said Wednesday that Internet Explorer 9 was finished. The new web browser will be ready to download at midnight Eastern time, March 15. It follows just a month after the release candidate and a year after the very earliest tech previews.

The browser is significant both for Microsoft and for the industry. It represents the company's first browser to sincerely honor web standards instead of focusing on proprietary code and, even in early tests, was competing in accuracy with rival browsers. Past versions have had many instances of proprietary rendering that either didn't render standards properly or forced web developers to include exceptions to account for IE users.

Microsoft has reversed its approach significantly enough that it's now encouraging users to stop using IE6 to get customers towards more standards-compliant versions of the software, particularly IE9.

The browser also represents a major opportunity for Microsoft to freeze declines in market share. Despite a demographics revision that temporarily improved IE's market share, the browser has been sliding for the past few years as Firefox, Safari and eventually Chrome began adding many more features and better web rendering speed. IE9 has a much more competitive JavaScript engine with graphics-based hardware acceleration, HTML5 support and other improvements to catch up.

The IE9 engine should eventually reach Windows Phone 7 through the Mango update due late this year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And still no CSS gradients and other random niceties. Too little, too late, Microsoft. Maybe IE 10 will be worth something in another three years.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Bah

    And what features does Firefox lack? And Safari? Oh, but let's point out some minor detail IE doesn't support and run with it!

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Credit where credit is due

    I'll give MS that, after a decade of willfully *%$#ing up the web, they've finally gone the right direction with a browser. I'll never personally forgive them for what IE6 did to me, but certainly as a front-end coder I'm happy to see it, and the day IE6 drops below 1% in my logs will be the day I throw a party.

    That said, lack of CSS gradients and other more advanced CSS3 and HTML5 features are pretty sorry weaknesses in a product from a company with huge browser share and money coming out its ears. It does support h264 video, though--it'll be interesting to see how that pans out in the market.

    "And what features does Firefox lack?" h264 decoding and several other advanced CSS3 features, though most will be remedied in FF4. "And Safari?" almost nothing other than WebM support, and the same goes for Chrome--there's a reason that Webkit has become the bar by which other browsers are measured.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Credit where credit is due

    That said, lack of CSS gradients and other more advanced CSS3 and HTML5 features are pretty sorry weaknesses in a product from a company with huge browser share and money coming out its ears.

    I don't know. Apple has money coming out of all of its orifices, and we're told how they can't be bothered with such things as keeping Rosetta running, or keeping certain products available for older versions of OS X (like iTunes for 10.4).

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Because Microsoft is so much tied to enterprise...

    they can not and will not update their browser at the torrid pace Google is doing...

    And that is the reason why IE9 will never be my default browser...

    I require IE to do online banking, the bank I do business with does not support Chrome...

    Microsoft, please get away from enterprise mercenaries and embrace consumer like what Google and Apple has done...

  1. PRoth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This story is about Internet Explorer, so people are commenting on THAT, not what Safari's lacking or Firefox is lacking... don't worry they'll get their due.

    As for your second comment, stick to the subject matter. Although, if you're trying in a roundabout way to make the point that the availability of funds for building standards based browsers hasn't been the issue for the likes of Microsoft, I'd agree with you.

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