March 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM ET
The newest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser, IE9, tallied 2.3 million downloads in its first day of release Monday, the company says.
"We want to thank everyone around the world for downloading IE9 and the enthusiastic reception. 2.3 million downloads in 24 hours is over double the 1 million downloads we saw of the IE9 Beta," wrote Microsoft's Ryan Gavin on the company's IE blog. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
Ian Paul, of PCWorld, has this perspective on those numbers: "The beta version of IE9, by comparison, was downloaded 10 million times in its first six weeks of availability, but only one million times in its first 24 hours," he wrote. "Microsoft won't be setting any records with IE9's initial download numbers, however, considering Firefox 3 in 2008 was downloaded more than 8 million times in its first day."
However, he notes, "Microsoft's browser refresh is getting high marks for embracing Web standards such as HTML 5 and CSS3, a tracking protection mechanism, features such as pinned sites and dynamic jumplists, and a more streamlined interface. Microsoft's new browser also features hardware acceleration designed to take advantage of your computer's capabilities for improved graphics rendering."
While other Web browsers like Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome are eating into Internet Explorer's audience, in North America, IE "still retains a clear lead in the browser market," said StatCounter, a website analytics company, in January.
At that time, IE had 48.92 percent of the North American market, followed by Firefox (26.7 percent), Chrome (12.82 percent) and Safari (10.16 percent)," StatCounter said.
But in Europe, Firefox edged past Internet Explorer in December to become the No. 1 browser there, with 38.11 percent of European market share, compared to IE's 37.52 percent.
"This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the No. 1 spot in a major territory," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter's CEO, said in a statement. "This appears to be happening because Google's Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share."
If you want to download IE9, you can do so here. Meanwhile, Firefox 4 is coming next week, due for release March 22. It's a major revamp, with improvements that are supposed to make the browser speedier and provide a streamlined user interface.
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