In just a few days after public availability the IE9 Release Candidate has been downloaded two million times. The IE9 RC includes a number of important improvements consistent with the vision of delivering an all-around fast browser, strengthens our commitment to privacy and security, and delivers on the the commitment to developers to enable them to use the same markup and site-ready HTML5. For example, the IE RC includes:

  • Significant performance improvements in browser speed which, according to the WebKit SunSpider test, is now 35% faster than the IE9 Beta. Coupled with IE9’s innovative approach to graphics processing through hardware acceleration in Windows, IE9 is truly an all-around fast browser opening up opportunities for developers to create rich new experiences.
  • Numerous enhancements to the user interface such as new ways of handling notifications, the ability to place tabs on their own separate row, and enhancements to the already powerful site pinning functionality.
  • Support for additional HTML5 and web standards including Geolocation, and semantic tags.
  • Following through on the commitment we made in December to put users in control of their privacy online, and the RC of IE9 includes the Tracking Protection technology we announced then. In addition we are delighted that third party organizations such as Abine, TRUSTe, EasyList, and PrivacyChoice are already building and publishing Tracking Protection lists. For more information visit the Internet Explorer page of the Microsoft News Center.

Developers please visit the IE9 Guide for Developers here

Download Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate

You can download Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate in the language that matches your version of Windows or choose the English version, which works with all versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. See Internet Explorer Downloads.

The Automatic Update (AU) feature of Windows Update (WU) will offer users of Internet Explorer 9 Beta an upgrade to the Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate. This rollout will start with a narrow audience and expand over the next few days to cover all Internet Explorer 9 Beta users. This post provides information on how the Automatic Update delivery will work and announces the release of Internet Explorer 9 Automatic Update Blocker Toolkit.

How IE9 RC Automatic Update Delivery Works

Screen shot showing new updates available notification

AU will notify you when Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate is ready to install. You can click on the bubble to launch Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate installation. You can also install Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate from Windows Update manually by launching Windows Update from the Start Menu and checking for updates.

Screen shot of Windows Update showing an update ready to install

When Windows Update starts installing Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate, you will see the IE9 installation screen:

Screen shot of Internet Explorer 9 install dialog

To install Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate, click Install. If you choose Ask me later, WU will re-offer Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate to you during the next update scan. If you choose Don’t Install, WU will not offer Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate via AU to you again, and Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate will appear as an optional item on Windows Update. Users who decline the update can download Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate from http://www.beautyoftheweb.com. We strongly encourage all IE9 Beta users to upgrade to the IE9 RC

For more detailed information please visit the IEBlog for more detailed information.