Hot on the heels of the release of Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 we received word that Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer has been scheduled for an August release date. Apparently, IE9 had a strong start with more than 2 million downloads already.
Next month we will get a first true look at the new IE9 and how serious Microsoft is to fight back in an increasingly competitive browser war. In June, it appears, Microsoft was able to regain browser market share in North America by throwing lots of money in a mainstream Internet and TV advertising campaign. In August, we will see the first beta of a fully functional IE9.
First released in March, the IE9 Platform Preview is now in its third iteration and has consistently gained ground on its rivals and is light years ahead of IE8 in speed and innovation. For the first time since IE4, which was released in 1996, Microsoft appears to be able to rally enthusiasm for its new browser. IE9 focuses much more on common standards than on proprietary new features that Microsoft tried to force into the market with previous versions.
2 million IE9 PPs have been downloads so far – which is quite stunning given the fact that it is not a usable browser. The Beta 1 will reveal the full feature set of IE9. It is unclear when the final version will be rolled out, but it seems that it won’t take 1 year as it was the case with IE8. Our bet is that IE9 will be launched in the October/November timeframe to compete with the release of Firefox 4.0.