Microsoft promises final IE 9 to be downloadable on March 14

I guess I can finally stop concluding my Internet Explorer (IE) 9 posts with the words "Microsoft officials continue to decline to provide a ship-date target for IE 9." The RTW date is out: March 14.

I guess I can finally stop concluding my Internet Explorer (IE) 9 posts with the words "Microsoft officials continue to decline to provide a ship-date target for IE 9."

On March 9, via a blog post, the IE team told users to expect Microsoft to make available the final IE 9 bits for download on March 14, starting at 9 p.m. PT. Microsoft is holding a launch party at the SXSW show to commemorate the launch and is promisng there will still be a few surprises there.

(Tom Warren at WinRumors.com blogged earlier this month that he believed the launch of IE 9 would be on March 14th.)

I downloaded the Release Candidate of IE 9 last month and have used it sporadically since. I've found it to be much faster and more stable than the beta was. I'm still having trouble with some sites, however, including TechCrunch (which seems to freeze more often than not with IE 9 for some reason).

IE 9 is Microsoft's most standards-compliant IE release to date. It includes a new JavaScript engine, codenamed "Chakra," and enables hardware-accelerated graphics.

Dean Hachamovitch, the head of IE, is going to be doing the Day 1 keynote at the Mix '11 conference in mid-April, the Softies announced today.

Given the one-year timeframe during which IE 9 went from Platform Preview 1 to launch, could it be that Microsoft will be ready to talk IE 10 at the show? That'd be impressive. I'm thinking it's more likely that Hachamovitch will be talking about IE 9 Mobile, the browser that will be part of the "Mango" Windows Phone 7 update expected later this year....

In the interim, any thoughts/guesses about what's next for the IE team?

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