MS Confirms: Internet Explorer 9 Beta Due Next Month
Microsoft has confirmed the beta edition of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) will be available in September. The announcement comes alongside leaked screenshots of the new browser.
Rumors have pegged the beta release for IE9 in September 2, 2010. Kevin Turner, who is in charge of Microsoft's day-to-day operations, wasn't that specific in describing the new Internet Explorer, but it's the first time Microsoft has publicly named the month.
The revelation came during a meeting with financial analysts, and there's some speculation Turner used it as an opportunity to hype Microsoft's future outlook. More Internet Explorer users means more people are likely to use the default Bing search engine, which will mean higher revenues for Microsoft via search-based advertising.
Internet Explorer 9 Final Release 2011, Likely
Exactly when the finished edition of Internet Explorer 9 will be released isn't yet confirmed, though based on previous releases it would most likely be around September of next year.
As a free product, Microsoft isn't under much pressure to meet deadlines for a browser, such as the start of a financial year or the holiday shopping season. (Source: computerworld.com)
No Internet Explorer 9 for Windows XP Users
Gaining a large audience for IE9 may be a challenge because it won't be available for Windows XP, an operating system (OS) used by two-thirds of Windows customers. Even after the new browser is finished, chances are XP will still be the choice of most PC users.
New IE9 Features Reminiscent of Rival Browsers
Meanwhile, a Chinese website has published what it claims to be screenshots from a leaked edition of the browser. However, there's little in the screenshots to give a clear indication as to their legitimacy. (Source: cnbeta.com)
If the images and description are genuine, user experience changes will be reminiscent of those made by rival browsers. The screenshots show a page titled "Your most popular sites" with a series of thumbnail images, similar to the default starting page on Google's Chrome browser.
There's also a more detailed window for downloading single or multiple files, which resembles that of both Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox.
A third feature mentioned in the leak report is the ability to install browser "add-ons" (also known as plug-in features) and begin using them immediately without the need to restart Internet Explorer.
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