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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