Microsoft sets March 15th date for IE9 launch at SXSW



Microsoft will officially launch the latest version of its Internet Explorer browser at 5am GMT on March 15th at the South by South West (SXSW) Interactive festival in Austin.

The new browser, IE9, will contain almost all of the features in the Release Candidate that went live in February but Internet Explorer senior director Ryan Gavin said in a blog posting that there would be some new features added.

"We still have a few surprises left. There are a lot of new amazing things to share," he said.

The browser will have an updated user interface that is focused on maximizing the browser window with a single URLs and search bar. It will also be possible to pin web sites, or strings of URLs, onto the main Windows task bar and a new downlad manager has been added.

Microsoft has faced criticism for its lack of HTML5 support and, while the browser does support some HTML5 standards (noticeably for hardware graphics acceleration) others are not being added.

Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, said that Microsoft wanted to avoid getting too committed while the technology was still evolving. Microsoft has set up HTML5 Labs site to allow developers to try different evolving Microsoft implementations of the technology and this would speed development he said.

"HTML5 is enormous, it's important and a lot of it has to do with the quality, with the performance, with the fit and finish and with the depth of implementation, not just ticking check boxes on a site," he said.

The browser will not be available to the majority of Windows users since it is limited to use on the Windows 7 operating system.

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