Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 fans downloaded the stable version of the new browser 2.35 million times in its first 24 hours after launching late Monday, Microsoft says. 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. 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.
Nevertheless, there appears to be a renewed interest in Internet Explorer after several years of slipping market share. Microsoft currently has about 57 percent of the worldwide browser market, according to Net Market Share, but once claimed over 90 percent of browser users.
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.
IE9 is just the latest of a slew of new browsers being released this year. Mozilla's Firefox 4 is scheduled for official release on March 22. The organization's official roadmap also shows that Mozilla hopes to release Firefox 5, 6 and 7 in 2011, but considering it took 12 betas to finish Firefox 4 this goal seems unlikely. Google recently released the latest version of Chrome, and Opera 11.10 beta launched Thursday. The only holdout among major browser makers is Apple, which released its most recent major update to Safari last June.