Microsoft gears up for public IE9 beta


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Press event scheduled for 15 September

Microsoft has begun the process of releasing a full beta of Internet Explorer 9, the next version of its web browser.

The web browser market is a tough one, and the firm will be hoping to tempt users back over with its next release.

Microsoft has published three previews of IE9 in the past few months, the last being used to highlight the new use of HTML5, and design and functionality improvements.

Microsoft is sending out teaser invitations to web developers, bloggers and the press to an event on 15 September.

James Pratt, from the Windows team group, said that the event will " celebrate the beauty of the web and mark the launch of the IE9 beta".

Pratt explained that invitees must complete a word puzzle in order to RSVP for the event. The puzzle, Unlock the _ _ _ _ _ _ web, offers the following letters V E A N T I and the solution is a single word.

We can only assume the answer is 'native', as 'anivet', 'atvine’ and 'tanvie' do not seem to fit the short sentence.

Pratt said that the platform previews, of which there have been four, have been downloaded some two and a half million times.

These versions were aimed at very early adopters and developers, while the beta release due in September is pitched at consumers and should include more features and usability improvements.

Microsoft has already reported that the browser has a number of speed gains on its last release and improved interoperability.

Had a little play with it at work, broke most of our internal site (we still use IE6 so that didn't surprise me). Didn't notice a huge increase in speed though I am wondering if that is only with HTML 5 sites. Not massively different from IE8 though that is no bad thing.