Internet Explorer 9 was released Monday of this week and has already racked up more than 2.35 million downloads in the first 24 hours. According to Microsoft the beta version was downloaded only 1 million times during the first day of its release.

At 27 downloads per second, it gets 98,000 downloads per hour since the initial release. Compared to other browsers IE 9 hasn’t been quite as impressive. Compared to Firefox 3.5 it saw more than 1 million downloads in the first hour. And by the end of its first 24 hours, Firefox 3.0 had been downloaded 8 million times.

Now it isn’t just about the numbers but the usability of the application. With updated HTML5 integration and an improved UI, this version of Internet Explorer is comparable to Google Chrome and even Mozilla Firefox. Speed tests done online show that it is comparable with processing and usability of the app.

Between IE8 and IE9 there has been an amazing speed improvement. The main reason why I moved away from Internet Explorer is the speed of the application. To launch, I usually had to wait 15-30 seconds for it to load up and bring me to the home page. Loading pages on the application took ages and I finally gave up migrating over to Google Chrome which loads web pages in an instant. After short use of IE9, web pages are loading just as fast as they do in Firefox or Google Chrome.

I am throughly impressed with the way IE9 has made major improvements with the UI and speediness of the application. Overall, I might be persuaded to switch back to Internet Explorer if Google starts to lose their touch with Google Chrome.

By far, Google Chrome is the browser of choice if you want speed and usability. But to say that Internet Explorer is comparable with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox is saying a lot.

Soon Internet Explorer 9 will face more competition from Firefox, which is set to release the final version of Firefox 4 on March 22.

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