Circle Sept. 15 on your calendars for the beta launch of Windows Internet Explorer 9, as Microsoft executives hop on a quick flight from Redmond down to San Francisco for a kickoff event.
Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, revealed a September launch at the company’s annual Financial Analyst Meeting July 29, but now we have a specific date.
Invitations went out today for the event, according to a blog post by James Pratt, an IE product manager at Microsoft. Pratt explained that the marketing message around IE 9 is that it delivers “the Beauty of the Web” to your computer.
More than 2.5 million preview versions of IE 9 have been downloaded -- four preview versions total -- since the first preview was released at Microsoft’s MIX10 developer event in Las Vegas back in March. Microsoft has been absorbing feedback from developers using the preview versions to help tweak the product.
IE 9 is coming to market just as Microsoft is regaining its market share against competitors like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera. Internet Explorer held a 60.74 percent share of the market in July, according to NetApplications, after falling below the 60 percent mark in April and May. However, as Network World’s Paul McNamara reports, IE’s market share was as high as 68 percent a year ago and Google Chrome, while at just 7.61 percent, still tripled its market share from 2.59 percent over the same period.
And IE’s competitors aren’t just sitting around moping about how IE is the king of the hill. The Mozilla Foundation released a beta of Firefox 4.0 in July and Google today launched a beta version of Chrome 6.
Robert Mullins is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. He has been writing about technology from Silicon Valley for more than a decade. He has covered such beats as network security, servers, storage, software development, telecommunications and, of course, Microsoft, for a variety of publications, most notably the IDG News Service and Network World.