What would it take to get you to run IE9 on Windows 7?

Microsoft has launched a holiday promotion to attempt to get more Windows 7 and Vista users to try Internet Explorer 9.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

For those of you Windows 7 and Windows Vista users not running Internet Explorer (IE) 9 as your browser of choice, would free music and movies be enough to entice you to switch?

Microsoft is looking to entice users who aren't running IE 9 to give it a whirl, using a holiday promotion as an incentive. But in my case, freebies aren't enough of a reason for me to switch.

During our taping of the November 3 Windows Weekly episode, Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott, TWiT's Leo Laporte and I all noted that we use Chrome on Windows 7. As the latest worldwide Net Applications data from October made plain, we're not alone. Net Applications found Chrome to have 16.6 percent of the combined desktop/mobile browsing share last month, and IE (all versions combined) to have 49.59 percent.

Chrome is gaining marketshare among those browsing the Web from their desktop. Internet Explorer is continuing to lose overall marketshare there, even though the share of IE 9 on Windows 7 is growing. (IE 9 runs on Windows 7 and Windows Vista but not on Windows XP.) And on the mobile phone/device front -- where Chrome doesn't currently play -- IE's share is still miniscule, as the overall Windows Phone marketshare is still quite small.

As I've blogged before, I use Chrome because it's light weight and it opens Web pages faster on my PC than IE does. I know there are speed test results out there that show IE is the fastest. It's just not the case on my PC, and so far I've been unable to figure out why. It could be the result of other programs I have installed. It is not due to browser extensions. IE 9 is slower for me even when I turn off all my extensions.

Microsoft is trying a new tack this holiday season to get more Windows users to try IE 9. As Winbeta.org noted last night, Microsoft is offering users who download IE 9 and pin various sites to their task bar a variety of freebies, including music, movies and other goodies. Among partners participating in the giveaway are Slacker Radio, Pandora, Ticketmaster, Vimeo, Grooveshark, Hulu and Fandango.

(When you go to the IE 9 holiday promo page, Microsoft detects your browser. As you can see on the screen shot below, it detected I am running Chrome 15. Click on the page to enlarge.)

Would these kinds of give-aways make you non-IE-using customers load Microsoft's latest browser? In my case, the answer is no, as performance trumps all when I'm browsing.

Speaking of IE, I asked Microsoft earlier this week when those running the IE 10 preview on Windows 7 and Vista machines could expect an updated test build. I was told by a spokesperson that Microsoft had nothing more to share at this time. Microsoft's last developer preview (Platform Preview 2) for Windows 7 and Vista users of IE 10 was on June 29. Microsoft officials said earlier this year that they planned to roll out new dev previews for IE 10 on these operating systems every three months -- which means there should have been something out around late September.

Microsoft also made two test versions of IE 10 available to users of the Windows 8 developer preview in September as part of the Windows 8 dev preview bits. Microsoft also is not commenting on whether there will be any updates to the IE 10 code before the company releases the Windows 8 beta.

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