Internet Explorer 9 To Officially Rollout In June

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has announced that it won't be sending out Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) by automated update until the end of June this year.

Originally, the plan was to send the Internet Explorer 9 update as an automatic download, providing the Windows Automatic Updates feature was enabled.

The timeline for the automated update was to be scheduled for March 21, but that has since changed because Microsoft says the delay is a necessity due to its widespread corporate use. (Source:

Internet Explorer 9 Rollout Cause of Delay Two-Fold

There are two reasons being given for the June timetable.

The first is that there are "hundreds of millions of business customers" using Internet Explorer, and they need time to plan for applying the update across their networks. The other is that website developers need plenty of time to be sure their sites work well in the browser before it becomes more widely used. (Source:

Both of these reasons are somewhat debatable. IE9's March release was no mystery, so there's little reason for businesses to be caught unprepared.

Comparisons Not Like-For-Like

In announcing the June timetable, Microsoft was keen to argue that this means it is unfair to compare current download figures for Internet Explorer 9 and the latest editions of rival browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which were released at a similar time. That's because both of those have already been sent out to existing users via an automatic update.

That is certainly a fair point when it comes to long-term trends -- once the Microsoft update is complete, we'll have a better idea of how many people are sticking with each browser.

Double Downloads For Main Rival

Thus far, the download race has not been kind for Internet Explorer 9.

In a 24-hour span, Mozilla's Firefox 4 doubled the 2.35 million day-one Internet Explorer 9 downloads. That's not necessarily an indicator of how many people will use the browsers in the long run, but does show that among people who are dedicated enough to actively seek out and download a browser on its first day, Microsoft is lagging well behind the competition.

IE9 Adoption Likely Low Due To Compatibility Reasons

There is actually a more significant point that Microsoft could make in defense of IE download figures, but understandably chooses not to.

The fact is that Internet Explorer 9 only works on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Service 2008. Because so many people have yet to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, it's estimated that Internet Explorer 9 is only available to 40 per cent of computer users.

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