Microsoft IE 9 Beta Racks 2 Million Downloads

Strong showing in Internet Explorer's first two days of release indicates Microsoft may be on track to stem its slide in the browser market.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed
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Microsoft says more than 2 million people worldwide downloaded Internet Explorer 9 Beta in the first two days the web browser was available.

By comparison, when IE 8 Beta launched in August 2008, the company recorded 1.3 million downloads over the first five days, Roger Capriotti, group product manager for IE 9 at Microsoft, said Monday in the company's blog.

Overall, the IE 9 download site has seen 9 million visitors and more than 26 million page views since it was made available last week. Microsoft's IE developer site has had 4 million page views since last Wednesday, Capriotti said.

"All in all, we are encouraged about the very early response to the IE9 release this past week," Capriotti said.

While these early numbers are positive, it remains to be seen whether IE 9 will reverse Microsoft's slide in the browser market. In the past three years, Explorer's share has fallen from 79.16% in 2007 to its current share of 60.40%, according to data from market watcher Net Applications. At the same time, the market shares of Apple's Safari, Mozilla's Firefox, and Google's Chrome has risen.

Industry observers say IE 9 may be Microsoft's last chance to stop the browser's decline. Early reviews have been strong, with InformationWeek saying IE 9 is shaping up to be the best version of the browser yet.

Nevertheless, very few of the new features are new to the current browser market, so IE 9, as a whole, catches up with the major browsers, but doesn't surpass them.

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