Internet Explorer 9 Downloads Off to Strong Start

Dennis Faas's picture

More than two million people have downloaded Internet Explorer 9 in the first day of its public availability. Microsoft has welcomed the "enthusiastic reception", though Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) hasn't been received with quite as much fanfare as some previous web browsers.

To put things into context, the 2.35 million downloads -- equivalent to 27 downloads per second -- is double that of the first day for the beta edition of IE9 and four times that of the IE9 release candidate (RC).

Internet Explorer 9 Download Not Record Breaking

The numbers are on par, as a finished browser is always going to be more attractive to users than versions still in development. But the ratio is at least a sign that the beta and release candidate version were warmly received, creating interest via word of mouth and media coverage. (Source:

The figures, while certainly healthy, are by no means record breaking. In 2009, the fourth edition of Apple's Safari browser reached 11 million downloads in its first three days. And in 2008, Firefox 3 had a reported 8 million downloads on its release day alone. (Source:

Casual Audience Slow to Upgrade

The difference in the figures isn't necessarily due to public preference for non-Microsoft browsers. It's also possible that other browsers tend to appeal to more dedicated computer users who are inclined to get new software as soon as it is available.

A considerable number of Internet Explorer users will be people who use it by default and thus are unlikely to actively seek out an upgrade immediately upon its release. They'll be likely to get the browser at the end of this week when it will be included in an automatic Windows Update (unless users intentionally opt out of the download).

Internet Explorer 9 Not XP Compatible

Another factor explaining IE9's modest popularity is that most new browsers from Microsoft rivals are designed to work with a wide range of operating systems. Internet Explorer 9 only supports Windows Vista and Windows 7, and excludes Windows XP, meaning an upgrade is out of the question for a little over half of Windows users.

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