Microsoft Launching IE 9 Beta On Sept. 15; Will It Rival Firefox And Chrome?

The "September" time frame was confirmed already, but the next major installment of Internet Explorer now has a firm launch date: September 15. That's the date that Microsoft has set for the debut of the first IE9 beta, which is the company's first major attempt to battle the advancements made by Chrome and Firefox over the past months and years.

Since the start of the Internet, Microsoft's browser has dominated in terms of market share. Most say that's because IE comes pre-installed on Windows-based PCs, but people are beginning to notice that free rivals from Mozilla and Google (and Apple, if you include Safari) offer more features, less exploit threats and a generally better user experience.

Microsoft knows a thing or two about coming back from a major blow, and Internet Explorer 9 has a lot to live up to. When it comes to free software, it's easy to simply choose the best and never even try the rest. If IE9 doesn't live up to the standards set by Firefox and Chrome, chances are that won't go over well in the tech community. Microsoft has had plenty of time to evaluate the next generation browser landscape and really nail this one, but that all remains to be seen.

The company will host a launch event in San Francisco, California on the 15th of next month, with the beta going live for all to download who choose to do so. Of course, we expect some bugs to be noticed in the beta build, but hopefully Microsoft won't keep it in beta for too long. The real question is how this next gen browser will fit into the Windows Phone 7 landscape, if at all. WebKit has dominated the mobile browser space; is this the time for Microsoft to finally make an impact there, as well?