IE9 Release Candidate Hits 2M Downloads

BARCELONA – One week after Microsoft unveiled the release candidate for Internet Explorer 9, the revamped browser has attracted two million downloads, the company announced Wednesday.

“We continue to be humbled by the enthusiasm and uptake of IE9,” Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer Product Marketing, said in a blog post.

Those currently using IE9 beta will be prompted to replace that version with the RC this month, but it is also available as a manual download.

“Early testers are already experiencing the beauty of the web across their favorite websites – and enjoying one-click access to a site-centric browsing experience by pinning their sites directly to their Windows 7 taskbar,” Capriotti wrote. “We’re encouraged by this early response and urge you to download IE9 RC today and let us know your thoughts.”

Microsoft released the IE9 RC at a February 10 event in San Francisco. The release candidate is the last step before final release to the Web; Microsoft has not said when that will happen. The browser has been in public beta testing since last September, and since last March available as a bare-bones “Platform Preview” of its underlying technology.

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New in the release candidate are a previously announced Tracking Protection feature, some user interface tweaks, more support for the emerging HTML5 Web standard, and even faster performance on standard benchmarks. The browser innovated in at least one aspect of performance—using hardware accelerated graphics. In order to achieve this optimization, the software only runs on Windows 7 and Vista.

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