Internet Explorer 9 to launch on March 14

By Tom Warren, on 7th Mar 11 10:30 am with 20 Comments

Microsoft is planning to announce and celebrate the release of Internet Explorer 9 on March 14, WinRumors has learned.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 team is planning to host a party during the South by southwest (SXSW) music and film festival in Austin, Texas. The party will be held on March 14 and will include free drinks and music performances from Yeasayer, The Head and The Heart, and Fences. Microsoft has sent several invites for a “special press pre-event” to press and analysts over the past few weeks. Microsoft’s Australian PR company, Howorth, recently sent invites claiming Microsoft is planning a “major announcement.”

Sources familiar with the company’s plans have confirmed to WinRumors that Microsoft intends to launch the final version of Internet Explorer 9 at SXSW on March 14. A number of Internet Explorer 9 team members will participate in the launch and celebration party afterwards. The confirmation of March 14 follows news that Microsoft is currently compiling near final escrow-RTM builds of Internet Explorer 9. The escrow builds mark the final stage of Internet Explorer 9′s development. Microsoft’s latest Internet Explorer 9 escrow build is 9.0.8112.16416. Microsoft historically RTM’s products less than a month after they hit the RTM-escrow stage.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has previously hinted at Internet Explorer 9′s launch date. Speaking during a developers day at Microsoft Switzerland in mid-February, Ballmer revealed that Internet Explorer 9 would be available very soon. “There’s a lot of great things going on broadly, enhancements that we’ve made, not only in Windows but Internet Explorer 9 which will be available here in the next month or so.” Ballmer said Internet Explorer 9 is a “great piece of work” and that “it will be the best browser…that you’ve ever used.”

WinRumors understands the company will launch core language versions of Internet Explorer 9 initially, followed by additional languages later in the month. Microsoft’s Indian MSDN team tweeted a launch date of March 24 last week. Microsoft is likely to expand its launch plans to other countries once versions are compiled and ready. Microsoft’s general manager of Internet Explorer and Windows Live, Brian Hall, is due to keynote on March 24 at Tech-Ed India. Hall has worked at Microsoft since 1995 in a variety of marketing and engineering positions. Previously, he led the worldwide launch of Windows XP and worked as a product manager on Windows 95, Windows 98 and Internet Explorer versions 3 through 5.

Microsoft revealed on last week that users have downloaded 36 million copies of Internet Explorer 9 since its beta release in September. The software maker launched its final development milestone version of Internet Explorer 9 on February 10. Microsoft’s main change in Internet Explorer 9 RC is the addition of Tracking Protection. The new privacy feature allows consumers to address their concerns about being tracked on the web. Internet Explorer 9  RC offers users a new opt-in mechanism to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking such as cookies, web beacons, advertisements and trackers. Tracking protection involves lists that can be published online. Microsoft’s second security enhancement is the ability to block ActiveX controls. Internet Explorer 9 RC includes an “ActiveX filter” option. The filter allows users to switch off ActiveX elements within their session, furthering Microsoft’s commitment to security within its browser.

Internet Explorer 9 special invite

  • Torko

    Nice to see RTM soon :)

  • anon

    This is your idea of starting the day with a bang? Posting news other sites had MONTHS ago, and at the time, you told them they were wrong? Congrats on finally catching up with the rest of the world.

    • Tom W

      Other sites never fully confirmed the launch and it was only pure speculation it would be March 14.

    • Anon

      Funny how my other comment got deleted, when it was just a straight quote of what you said almost a month ago. Funnier still how this is the 2nd story where you ragged on other sites that got there first, and then posted it yourself.

      Also, I’m not in Amsterdam, and simply resolving my IP would tell you this…

    • Tom W

      Plans change, this is a confirmation on a launch date that no other site has fully confirmed only “well we’re not sure but maybe”. What other sites posted this “MONTHS ago”?

  • amon91

    That’s a week from now, which means they’ll probably be compiling RTM this week, if they haven’t already. Could we see a leak a few days earlier?

  • Anonymous

    I expect it to be exactly the same as RC. Microsoft=Apple now and has stopped listening to feedback.

    • GP007

      MS has been listening more to feedback than before. I honestly don’t get why you think otherwise unless there’s some specific feature you asked for that they didn’t ad to IE9.

    • Grannyville7989

      If Microsoft didn’t listen to feedback, we wouldn’t have seen the changes from the beta to the release canditate, like the ability to move the tabs under the address bar or see the data transfer speeds of downloads in the download manager.

  • Ronit

    Well, IE 9 is a hell lot better than ie8, but what i am really exited about is Opera “barracuda”, the way they are upgrading stuff, Ballmer would have to reconsider his statement “it will be the best browser…that you’ve ever used.” .

    • GP007

      Except after all this time it’s not like more and more people have picked Opera. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice but what happened to just wanting a browser? I don’t use Opera much because I don’t need/want a mail/torrent, and whatever the hell that unite crap is. I just want a browser with a d/l manager which makes sense for it to have.

    • Ronit

      Not all people in the world know how to use torrent, so opera downloads from a torrent file just as normal download, making it easier for people who are not aware of downloading from torrents. I don’t know about you but I host my unite music library, and listen to my favorite songs on the fly!. I upload my edited videos straight onto my friends unite-enabled machine! No hassles!. I don’t use Opera mail but I use its Superb and way easy RSS system, to know if winrumours has put up an article. Well i like its download manager! and nonetheless, it is way more cross-platform than IE, so i can have Opera on literally any machine! and access my bookmarks!

    • Williewillus

      Ballmer means that they are finally caught up in web standards with the competition….

  • Rich.

    IE 9 kept crashing big style when I tried it out last month and i went back to IE8. Not progress.

    • GP007

      What sites have you been visiting? I haven’t had IE9 crash “big time” at all. At best a specific tab might crash and autorelead but that’s nothing.

    • Guest

      I’m genenerally happy with it ad haven’t had it crash per se. But there are certain sites where it really doesn’t work well and will hang for some time. TechCrunch, for example.

    • Williewillus

      Try hitting F12 to bring up the dev controls and see if “Document Mode” (which means rendering engine btw) is on IE9. If not, switch it to IE9. (BTW Brosers Mode=User Agent)


    for now RC is not good enought, well let’s see what RTM has to show us

  • Thomas

    I can’t wait to get rid of IE8. Danm, that is a slow browser.

  • Cosmin Tataru

    IE9 would have been perfect if they added 2 things to it: RSS button in the address bar and extensions while in site app (pinned) mode. Sad.