Microsoft: 6 Million downloads of IE9 beta in two weeks

Microsoft said on Friday that since the launch of Internet Explorer 9 beta, two weeks ago, the software giant has recorded six million downloads.

Internet Explorer 9 beta made its debut on September 15 to a fanfare of Gorillaz appearances and anticipation of Microsoft's new look browser. The next generation browser has received a warm welcome from tech enthusiasts, developers and the media. The browser has been so popular that it has grabbed 0.25% of browser market share in just two weeks.

"Two weeks after IE9 Beta launch, we continue to see great reactions from our customers. As of today, IE9 Beta has been downloaded 6 million times, which is two and half times what we saw with IE8 Beta in a similar timeframe", wrote Ryan Gavin, Senior Director of Internet Explorer Business and Marketing.

Microsoft has targeted developers in a heavy way with Internet Explorer 9. IE 9 takes advantage of the power of the GPU for all page rendering and developers can exploit this using CSS, DHTML and javascript. A new JS engine (codenamed Chakra) is also built into Internet Explorer 9 with greater interoperability and standards support all round. Features such as rounded corner CSS support are now built in.

Microsoft has also introduced broader support for HTML5 in IE9 through its new script engine. Microsoft recently performed W3C Web Standards tests on IE9, including HTML5, SVG 1.1 2nd edition, CSS3 media queries, CSS3 borders & backgrounds, CSS3 selectors, DOM level 3 core, DOM level 3 events and DOM level 2 style. Microsoft's IE9 is the first and only browser to deliver full hardware acceleration of all HTML5 content. Other competitors, including Mozilla and Google, are planning select hardware acceleration but at the moment Internet Explorer 9 wins hands down.

Microsoft, with the help of W3C, performed a total of 2,138 tests on a variety of browsers. Internet Explorer 9 scored above 90% in average across all tests, while every other browser, except Safari 5 and Chrome 5 didn't come close to scoring 90% or above in any of the test categories. Microsoft is expected to issue a second beta of Internet Explorer 9 at its Professional Developers Conference in October later this month. Internet Explorer 9 is expected to become broadly available in early 2011.

Image Credit: Long Zheng (Flickr)

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This is interesting. As @Yakuzing mentioned it seems a lot of people are downloading the new version of Internet Explorer, but I'm curious as to how much it's actually being used. It looks like a lot of people here are fans of Chrome. I've tried it, but have been sticking with Firefox. Any Chrome features I should be aware of to help me make the switch?

Wow I'm amazed at all of the people who blame IE9 for 'their sites' not 'working properly'.

I use IE9 as my default browser. My wife uses it as her default browser. In fact, it's the only browser she has installed on her system. I have chrome (latest beta) and ff (latest beta) and I can say without a doubt, that IE9 IS faster in all of the cloudapp sites built to showcase the enhancements.

I do not expect a modern browser to render a site that was built 10+ years ago for a browser that wasn't built with 'standards compliance' in mind. There are some old 'hacks' out there that allowed pages to look ok before. Now they're just a pain that cause the rendering to fail.

Sure Microsoft could add more code to the 'new engines' that handle rendering, or provide a compatability mode for sites that do not update to modern web standards. Oh wait, they have a 'compatability mode'.

A better solution would be for the folks who are test driving this new beta to contact the sites they frequent, and notify them that their site will not render properly in the new IE9. IE9 is a move that is required by Microsoft, and the rest of the internet, if only to get those infernal I hate IE people to STFU and realize that even MS realize the importance of standards.

It costs a lot of money to write software that breaks standards. Microsoft are learning from their mistakes. It's a shame that the IE name had to be dragged through the mud for that to become the case.

I find it funny how they even consider the amount of downloads significant. Just because people downloaded it, doesn't mean that they liked it. I found it was like every other IE, with no addon support, so back to Firefox i went. Try again Microsoft.

I can see where some of the complain are coming from. Often times, when loading a page, IE9 will not show that it's still loading and cause many people to refresh, thinking that the page didn't load or loaded incorrectly.

I downloaded it and loved it. Switched to it from Google Chrome because it was faster for me on both my Laptop and Desktop.

While of course there are crashes now and then those are all becaues of flash (only when I enter flash pages do I ever crash, Neowin is a page that has caused a crash to). So Adobe should try and fix that soon.

I see people saying "I only downloaded it to have the latest browsing engine for those programs that rely on it, I'm never going to use it" (something like that). Heads up, if you use a program that uses the browsing engine of IE you ARE using IE.

In all honesty, I'm tired of people saying they'll never try (yes, TRY) IE9 because IE sucks. You CANNOT say something sucks when you never tried it! Yes previous versions may have not been so hot but you don't judge a program based on older/past versions. Thats like me saying the United States sucks because George Washington wasn't a great president!

Does it include the compatibility view to view websites such as IE6/IE7 ?

The feature is totally abominable and should be removed, but just for ONCE that I need it because I'm doing a website for a firm that has IE7 installed everywhere and I've wasted hours and hours trying to make my stuff work on that browser. IE8 displays it perfect, just like any other browser.

I've never seen a site that works on IE7 but not on IE8 with compatibility mode. Since you can talk to all of your target market directly, is there some reason you can't tell them to upgrade?

Even if one's never done this sort of thing and has to Google-all-the-way, setting up WSUS to push IE8 and a GPO to force compatibility mode on some sites is at most a couple hours of work.

PsykX said,
Does it include the compatibility view to view websites such as IE6/IE7 ?

The feature is totally abominable and should be removed, but just for ONCE that I need it because I'm doing a website for a firm that has IE7 installed everywhere and I've wasted hours and hours trying to make my stuff work on that browser. IE8 displays it perfect, just like any other browser.


It has IE7 (but not IE8) compatibility view.

I really wish Microsoft would stop comparing its Beta browser to the competition's stable browsers, if your gonna compare your new Beta at least use the competition's latest Betas as well to ensure a good comparison.

thealexweb said,
I really wish Microsoft would stop comparing its Beta browser to the competition's stable browsers, if your gonna compare your new Beta at least use the competition's latest Betas as well to ensure a good comparison.

The last chromium build I tried still didn't have hardware acceleration enabled by default... nor has the latest Firefox beta. What's your point?

thealexweb said,
I really wish Microsoft would stop comparing its Beta browser to the competition's stable browsers, if your gonna compare your new Beta at least use the competition's latest Betas as well to ensure a good comparison.

Absolutely, this product may not be in its Beta stage. There is reason to believe that it is still in its Alpha stage.

Installed it, and played with it for 2 days.
Download manager was a pain in the arse, and refused to download from a few websites, saying it couldn't find the file. Did the same download with another browser and had no problems.
Browser sluggish and that's with Intel Core i7 980x Extreme and also 12GB RAM on windows 7 64bit!
Uninstalled and back with IE8 and now no problems with any downloads!!
I know this is beta, but it wants to get better for the final release as this isn't good enough.

.Neo said,
How many uninstalls?

I would say close to none since you seem to have it still installed based on the ignorant comment. Most people who are happy with IE9 don't normally comment here so I would say you are a very small percentage of people who uninstalled it.

I liked IE 9. It's gonna be good. But I had to uninstall it because IT WASN'T COMPATIBLE WITH MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE!!!

This kills me that it's the same company and it wont work with their other sites.

jasqid said,
I liked IE 9. It's gonna be good. But I had to uninstall it because IT WASN'T COMPATIBLE WITH MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE!!!

This kills me that it's the same company and it wont work with their other sites.

I love it when people expect every possible feature to be polished IN A BETA!

We're talking about a web browser here. If Office Live works in IE8 there is no acceptable reason for it not to work in IE9. This more likely an issue with the Office Live website than a browser issue, though, similar to how you can't use Hotmail if you're using Firefox minefield builds unless you edit the useragent string. It's not an issue of features, it's just crappy coding.

jasqid said,
I liked IE 9. It's gonna be good. But I had to uninstall it because IT WASN'T COMPATIBLE WITH MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE!!!

This kills me that it's the same company and it wont work with their other sites.


I just press the "compatibility view" and Office Live works properly.

Let's be honest... it needs work. The download manager disappears so you have no idea what's downloading. Creating addons for IE has not changed, it still requires way too much work and gives you poor results. The UI is better, but that doesn't make or break a browser.

Firefox got hold in this world because IE's addon arena was terrible, and plus it didn't hit the standards well. Now they are hitting standards better, but making addons is still a PITA. Maybe IE11 they will have it fixed, but by then other browsers will have so many features it will be hard for the IE team to stay up to date.

Hercules said,
Let's be honest... it needs work. The download manager disappears so you have no idea what's downloading. Creating addons for IE has not changed, it still requires way too much work and gives you poor results. The UI is better, but that doesn't make or break a browser.

Firefox got hold in this world because IE's addon arena was terrible, and plus it didn't hit the standards well. Now they are hitting standards better, but making addons is still a PITA. Maybe IE11 they will have it fixed, but by then other browsers will have so many features it will be hard for the IE team to stay up to date.

How come there are so many toolbars and stuff on the IE add-ons site if it's so difficult?

Hercules said,
Let's be honest... it needs work. The download manager disappears so you have no idea what's downloading. Creating addons for IE has not changed, it still requires way too much work and gives you poor results. The UI is better, but that doesn't make or break a browser.

Firefox got hold in this world because IE's addon arena was terrible, and plus it didn't hit the standards well. Now they are hitting standards better, but making addons is still a PITA. Maybe IE11 they will have it fixed, but by then other browsers will have so many features it will be hard for the IE team to stay up to date.

The browser supports standards but websites treat it like IE8. It has a 95/100 on ACID3 test.

It does replace IE8 if you install the full version. There is a platform preview with none of the new UI, if you just want to test out the renderer.

Kirkburn said,
It does replace IE8 if you install the full version. There is a platform preview with none of the new UI, if you just want to test out the renderer.

And to answer the OPs second question, yes... it comes with a 64bit version on 64bit OSes.

TCLN Ryster said,

And to answer the OPs second question, yes... it comes with a 64bit version on 64bit OSes.

Thanks both!

Let me first start by saying I enjoy Chrome alot. The beta of IE9 is a huge improvement over IE8. Personally, I like it a lot. I am looking forward to seeing what the next beta will be like. If they continue to improve, I may switch back to IE.

I downloaded it, doesn't mean it will ever be used much. One has to check it out otherwise one would be ignorant, no?

Yakuzing said,
I downloaded it, doesn't mean it will ever be used much. One has to check it out otherwise one would be ignorant, no?

I installed it, and have used it maybe 3 times. Like you said, you've got to check out all the options

It was not sluggish at all when I tried (for all of about 10 minute).

Why do these browsers have to make the favorites/bookmarks so hard to get at? Not that it's hard, but I like the single click drop like IE8 and Seamonkey use.

Being as it was beta, I only checked it out for a few minutes. Uninstalled pretty cleanly, at least.

cork1958 said,
Why do these browsers have to make the favorites/bookmarks so hard to get at? Not that it's hard, but I like the single click drop like IE8 and Seamonkey use.

all you have to do is hit the star with an arrow and it adds the site to your favorites bar

Too bad a few of my work intranet pages won't work right in IE 9. I almost pulled it off. Had to got back to IE 8.

Sluggish? Um...sorry, that's you. No, it's not. It's on par with the latest Firefox 4 beta and Chrome 6. Don't gimme that. Oh, and don't give me "Oh boo hoo, it's using more than 2 MB RAM. How much RAM do you have? It's supposed to be used.

Yochanan said,
Too bad a few of my work intranet pages won't work right in IE 9. I almost pulled it off. Had to got back to IE 8.

Sluggish? Um...sorry, that's you. No, it's not. It's on par with the latest Firefox 4 beta and Chrome 6. Don't gimme that. Oh, and don't give me "Oh boo hoo, it's using more than 2 MB RAM. How much RAM do you have? It's supposed to be used.

There is a compatability button in the address bar of IE9, though I don't know if it works like that for intranet pages.

Had to uninstall the beta on all my pcs. The site-loading was completely buggy -> had to press (CTRL +) F5 countless times to load a site...

The linked to chart seems a bit odd Been using it a bit and there are some things i like, some i don`t, same with all browsers really. Speed does seem snappier

The Beta has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. Very sluggish...doesn't show websites well on some occasions. This is on a brand new Windows 7 laptop at my place of work. Just doesn't do it for me.

Wiggz said,
The Beta has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. Very sluggish...doesn't show websites well on some occasions. This is on a brand new Windows 7 laptop at my place of work. Just doesn't do it for me.
.

hence thats why u should give your feed back... help make it better!

k33nz said,
.

hence thats why u should give your feed back... help make it better!


I've done my part and reported about the feedback issues. As of this beta, IE9 is a memory hog.

Wiggz said,
The Beta has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. Very sluggish...doesn't show websites well on some occasions. This is on a brand new Windows 7 laptop at my place of work. Just doesn't do it for me.

You probably need to hit the compatability view button up top. It fixed all the pages that didnt appear right for me. Take this page for example, Il ogged in, came here and it showed I wasn't logged in so I hit Compatbility view and it fixed it. But maybe thats just a coincidence. But thats what the button is for, fix broken pages.

And as for it being sluggish, its like 10 times faster than IE8 on my computer

APAstyle said,

You probably need to hit the compatability view button up top. It fixed all the pages that didnt appear right for me. Take this page for example, Il ogged in, came here and it showed I wasn't logged in so I hit Compatbility view and it fixed it. But maybe thats just a coincidence. But thats what the button is for, fix broken pages.

And as for it being sluggish, its like 10 times faster than IE8 on my computer

It's not a coincidence. The current version of IPB (the forum software Neowin runs on) does not understand that IE9 has newer features. I have to set it for compatibility too or the drop-down boxes, etc. do not work properly.

Wiggz said,
The Beta has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. Very sluggish...doesn't show websites well on some occasions. This is on a brand new Windows 7 laptop at my place of work. Just doesn't do it for me.

Some of the problems with websites in IE9 is the site code itself treating IE9 like IE7/8. Once that's addressed, we'll all be a little better off.

I found I had a HORRIBLE time with IE9 initially, and I realized it was because of some addons I used (ad blocker, for one) that didn't simply not work, they broke the browser itself. Once I just let IE9 run clean, it ran well.

Some issues with Flash, but who the heck does that surprise? All beta browsers have issues. Even the Firefox nightlies break aero when watching some Flash videos.

Wiggz said,
The Beta has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. Very sluggish...doesn't show websites well on some occasions. This is on a brand new Windows 7 laptop at my place of work. Just doesn't do it for me.

Its super fast for me, on par with Google Chrome. I dont know, maybe you have a ton of addons or something. Also, I have been having the same problem as you, with websites not showing up well. Just hit the compatibility view button next to the refresh. All fixed.

xiphi said,

I've done my part and reported about the feedback issues. As of this beta, IE9 is a memory hog.

That should change with newer versions, I wonder how much is taken up by debug code or who knows what else they have optimized yet? I hope we get beta 2 eight weeks after we got beta 1 so they stick to their IE9 schedule.

Wiggz said,
The Beta has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. Very sluggish...doesn't show websites well on some occasions. This is on a brand new Windows 7 laptop at my place of work. Just doesn't do it for me.

Disable Add-Ons. It makes a whol eworld of different.

I'm not surprised that it's been downloaded so much. Personally I only grabbed it to have the latest version installed for apps that depend on IE instead of providing their own browsing engine. I'll never actually use it as a browser. I think they're going in the right direction, but MS should be careful not to confuse downloads with market share.

Darrian said,
...but MS should be careful not to confuse downloads with market share.

6 million and 0.25%. Where's the confusion?

It seems there's always somebody too daft to catch the very obvious inferences in my posts, so I guess I'll have to spell it out. Not everybody who has downloaded it is actually using it or ever intended to use it. They can get all psyched up and pat themselves on the back for getting 6 million downloads, but 6 million people haven't switched to it as their default browser.

Darrian said,
It seems there's always somebody too daft to catch the very obvious inferences in my posts, so I guess I'll have to spell it out. Not everybody who has downloaded it is actually using it or ever intended to use it. They can get all psyched up and pat themselves on the back for getting 6 million downloads, but 6 million people haven't switched to it as their default browser.

If people never intended to use it then why did they download it?

I can't speak for others, but I already explained why I did. I'm sure I'm not alone. There are people who will install it just because it's the very latest version. There are people who will install it just so they can look at it for maybe 5 minutes just to see what the fuss is all about and then uninstall it. Not that I expect you to understand any of those situations; you're obviously a fan.

Darrian said,
I can't speak for others, but I already explained why I did. I'm sure I'm not alone. There are people who will install it just because it's the very latest version. There are people who will install it just so they can look at it for maybe 5 minutes just to see what the fuss is all about and then uninstall it. Not that I expect you to understand any of those situations; you're obviously a fan.

Sure, I'm a fan. But I also use minefield builds and think that the direction Firefox is going is great. It's not like I only use ie9, I just needed a sn. I was just wondering why someone would just download it to download it. I see why you downloaded it, and I get it. I think that the 6 million number is still one to take notice of.

Sure it is. It's significant. And, like I said, I like the direction development is headed, even if I probably will never switch back. I'm just saying that I hope MS doesn't get too cocky just because a bunch of people have downloaded it and continues to improve it.

Kojacked said,
I don't think it's Microsoft that you have to worry about being cocky. I'm just sayin'...

Ain't that the truth.

Darrian said,
I'm not surprised that it's been downloaded so much. Personally I only grabbed it to have the latest version installed for apps that depend on IE instead of providing their own browsing engine. I'll never actually use it as a browser. I think they're going in the right direction, but MS should be careful not to confuse downloads with market share.

And I have firefox installed only because I need it for web development testing... so whats your point? MS is not saying that all those downloaders are now using IE9 by default. They were saying there was a good response to the browser and tons of people downloaded it. And believe me, you dont get that many downloads if people cant stand your browser.

Darrian said,
I can't speak for others, but I already explained why I did. I'm sure I'm not alone. There are people who will install it just because it's the very latest version. There are people who will install it just so they can look at it for maybe 5 minutes just to see what the fuss is all about and then uninstall it. Not that I expect you to understand any of those situations; you're obviously a fan.

+1 I'm one of them, and I will never use IE as default browser.

Darrian said,
...I hope MS doesn't get too cocky just because a bunch of people have downloaded it and continues to improve it.

The only people that are cocky are the obnoxiously loud legion of Chrome fanboys bitching about how fast Chrome is everywhere. Just saying go a couple post down and see what I mean LOL

Darrian said,
It seems there's always somebody too daft to catch the very obvious inferences in my posts, so I guess I'll have to spell it out. Not everybody who has downloaded it is actually using it or ever intended to use it. They can get all psyched up and pat themselves on the back for getting 6 million downloads, but 6 million people haven't switched to it as their default browser.

Just as there's always somebody daft enough to imply Microsoft said something they did not say. Microsoft are not confusing anything, they are not stating they have 6 million active users of IE9. They are stating a single download statistic and nothing more.

As it stands, my browser of choice is Chrome. I have no special love for IE.

ie9 said,

If people never intended to use it then why did they download it?

I agree with you! There's always a motive to anything you do and this one spells out, yeah, I love it but don't want to admit it to the rest of the world! Otherwise, why download it? Stick with what you TRULY love instead and stop trolling in here!

vice le von said,

The only people that are cocky are the obnoxiously loud legion of Chrome fanboys bitching about how fast Chrome is everywhere. Just saying go a couple post down and see what I mean LOL

Well, Chrome IS pretty freaking fast, but that doesn't make it the best browser.

TCLN Ryster said,

Just as there's always somebody daft enough to imply Microsoft said something they did not say. Microsoft are not confusing anything, they are not stating they have 6 million active users of IE9. They are stating a single download statistic and nothing more.

As it stands, my browser of choice is Chrome. I have no special love for IE.

I never said or even implied that Microsoft said anything whatsoever. Learn to read, and if you manage to succeed in that, learn to comprehend.

Darrian said,
Not everybody who has downloaded it is actually using it or ever intended to use it. They can get all psyched up and pat themselves on the back for getting 6 million downloads, but 6 million people haven't switched to it as their default browser.

I am using IE9 as my default browser. As a matter of fact, I am using it right now to type this comment. What does that make me? an outlier?

Mozilla and Google does it all the time: claim how many time Firefox and Chrome have been download. Why do being Microsoft make any different?

MaSx said,

I'm one of them, and I will never use IE as default browser.

You fanboyism clouded your judgement.

Edited by illegaloperation, Oct 2 2010, 4:24am :

Darrian said,
Sure it is. It's significant. And, like I said, I like the direction development is headed, even if I probably will never switch back. I'm just saying that I hope MS doesn't get too cocky just because a bunch of people have downloaded it and continues to improve it.

Then why did Mozilla make all the fuss about the number of Firefox 3 downloads on "Download day". I downloaded on that day, and within 5 minutes of installing removed the crap from my Windows Vista machine. I'll never use any non-MS browser as my default browser although I test all the new versions of all browsers.

day2die said,

I am using IE9 as my default browser. As a matter of fact, I am using it right now to type this comment. What does that make me? an outlier?

Mozilla and Google does it all the time: claim how many time Firefox and Chrome have been download. Why do being Microsoft make any different?

Nobody ever said that Microsoft was any different, nor that there is anything in any way wrong with them doing so.

vice le von said,
Now you're just littering this post Darrian and beginning to contradicting yourself. Just stfu w/your bs in the future.

Darrian is a warrior without a cause.

Peter Gibson said,
I'd like it to have one large search bar like google and hide the wasted space up top but hey that's just me:)

The space above the address bar is not wasted. It's needed for using the incredibly useful Aero Snap feature of Windows 7. With Google Chrome there's no space on top to drag the maximized window.

pezzonovante said,

The space above the address bar is not wasted. It's needed for using the incredibly useful Aero Snap feature of Windows 7. With Google Chrome there's no space on top to drag the maximized window.

+1, Aero Snap is the ****! I use it all the time!

pezzonovante said,

The space above the address bar is not wasted. It's needed for using the incredibly useful Aero Snap feature of Windows 7. With Google Chrome there's no space on top to drag the maximized window.

Yup, there are certain basic functions of the Windows environment that some open space in the title bar is necessary for. I think the same can even be said of Mac OS and the most popular Linux shells.

Not to mention, with the move to touch-interaction (and MS knows that IE *must* be touch-friendly), this desire to pack stuff tightly into every possible space is becoming less and less attractive. Large, high-resolution displays are more and more common, so I don't understand why people are still living with a S/VGA sense of space management.

/IE9 even still lets you double-click the left corner of the title bar to close the window
//yay for old habits
///Heck, does Excel 2010 still take advantage of Scroll Lock for moving the whole sheet?

pezzonovante said,

The space above the address bar is not wasted. It's needed for using the incredibly useful Aero Snap feature of Windows 7. With Google Chrome there's no space on top to drag the maximized window.

I have had absolutely no problem using Aero Snap with Chrome. I agree with Peter about the wasted space.

pezzonovante said,

The space above the address bar is not wasted. It's needed for using the incredibly useful Aero Snap feature of Windows 7. With Google Chrome there's no space on top to drag the maximized window.

Being able rip tabs and move them between windows is the best damn feature evar!

JAB Creations said,

Drag a maximized window?


Yes, I never use the restore/maximize button on Windows 7. It's much easier to just drag the window whenever I need to maximize/restore a window.

That's good news, lots of feedback on this first beta will help to make it better by RTM. I hope beta 2 comes soon as well.