IE9 Catching on With Windows 7 Users?

Microsoft claims that gains so far have been users seeking out IE9 for download.

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is now running on nearly four percent of Windows 7 PCs, according to latest figures from Web analytics firm Net Applications.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) released the final version of IE9 on March 14.

"According to Net Applications' latest data, worldwide, IE9 share on Windows 7 reached 3.6 percent for the month of March," Ryan Gavin, senior director of IE business and marketing," said in a post to the Exploring IE blog Friday.

Friday's disclosure seems unlikely to cool criticism from competitors after IE9 and Firefox 4, both, had massive initial download numbers when they were released recently.

First, Microsoft claimed users had downloaded IE9 2.3 million times in the first 24 hours after its release.

Then, a week later, Mozilla claimed users had downloaded Firefox 4 more than 5 million times in its first 24 hours of availability.

"Of the downloads we've seen through Sunday, March 27th, over 90 percent have come from non-IE9 RC [release candidate] and beta users," Gavin said in a post earlier this week.

"In the case of Firefox 4.0 and [Google] Chrome 10 their update mechanisms are turned on as part of their initial release to web (RTW)," Gavin added.

Gavin said that the gains made by IE9 so far have been from users downloading the company's new browser on their own. Microsoft will not start pushing IE9 out to users via Windows Update until June, he added.

Currently, according to Net Applications, Windows 7 holds a 22.4 percent share of operating systems in use. Windows XP, which cannot run IE9, however, still holds a larger share at 54.4 percent. Vista, which can also run IE9, has a 10.6 percent share.

Another factor in the browser wars, though, is competition for IE9 from earlier versions of IE, and not just running on Windows 7.

For instance, IE6, the oldest of Microsoft's browsers, holds a user share of almost 11 percent, while IE7 holds 7.8 percent, and IE8 holds the most with 34.4 percent, Net Applications said. IE8 was released two years ago.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.






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