A week after rolling out its seventh developer preview of Internet Explorer (IE) 9, Microsoft has gone back and delivered an update for the beta of IE 9, the first full beta of Microsoft's next-gen browser which the company delivered in mid-September.
I, for one, am happy to see the beta update since the developer previews don't include the full browser interface, making them less useful for those of us who are interested in test-driving IE 9 in real-world situations (rather than to test the boundaries of Microsoft's support for HTML 5 and other standards).
Microsoft has marked the IE 9 beta update as "recommended" via Windows Update. The new build includes stability and reliability fixes, but "is not a new Internet Explorer 9 Beta build," according to a November 23 post to the company's IE Blog. Microsoft also has delivered a separate but related IE 9 beta update that "resolves issues between the IE 9 send feedback feature on 64-bit machines with Windows-Live-Essentials 11."
Users who have enabled automatic updating will get the Beta updates automatically; those who have not will need to manually download and install them.
Microsoft officials have said a near-final Release Candidate for IE 9 is one of the next things to expect from the team. I'm wondering whether Microsoft plans to release a public Beta 2 of IE 9, as WinRumours reported today that a new beta of IE 9 that went to a set of private testers has leaked to the Web. There's still no word on the final release-to-Web target, though many company watchers are predicting a first half 2011 release.
I'm hoping the beta update will enable the IE 9 beta to work with more of the sites I visit. I'll update this post once I have a chance to check it out. In the meantime, anyone who notices a difference with the updated beta -- I'd be interested in hearing about your findings....