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Microsoft confirms Internet Explorer 9 launch for March 14

Microsoft may want to be a buzzkill in stopping us all from using its 10-year-old Internet Explorer 6 web browser, but it really is for our own good. That software is old and outdated. You’re probably safer seeking out a virus to download and manually install.

Fortunately, the world has moved on a few versions since the release of IE6. The latest update, Internet Explorer 9, has been rapidly approaching release in recent weeks. The browser’s release candidate actually went up for download around this time last month and now Microsoft has confirmed an official launch date and time for the final version: March 14 at 9 p.m. PST.

The confirmation comes from a post on The Windows Blog which also reveals that the new browser’s launch will be celebrated with a party at South By Southwest in Austin, Tex. next week. It’s not surprising to see such a big push behind this new browser launch, considering the gains that Mozilla and Google have made with their competing Firefox and Chrome browsers, respectively.

IE9 of course sports a host of new features, the most obvious being a stripped-down interface that bears no small resemblance to the clean look of Chrome. Also like Chrome, searches can be sent right through the address bar. There’s also hardware acceleration, which allows the browser to use the computer’s graphics processor to render webpages, resulting in quicker load times, smoother in-page interactions and greater overall flexibility for the browser. To read about Internet Explorer 9’s features in finer detail, check out our rundown.

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