IE9 Beta launch: are you excited?

On Wednesday (11am PDT GMT-7)we’ll be in San Francisco for “Beauty of the Web”, the beta launch of Internet Explorer 9.  IE9 promises to bring modern standards compliant browsing to a Microsoft browser for the first time, in addition to some compelling new features such as full hardware graphics acceleration.  We’ve watched over the years as IE continued to lose share, first to Firefox, and now lately to Google Chrome.  Here’s a snapshot of our actual browser share over the last month:

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showing IE at 42.27%, Firefox at 23.53%, and Chrome at 20.77%.  Back when we first started using Google Analytics in June of 2006, IE held some 67% share (with IE6 at 59% of that!), with Firefox holding down some 27% share.  Chrome, of course, was still a twinkle in Google’s eye. 

Digging down into these latest IE numbers, at least IE8 has done a good job of modernizing previous versions of IE:

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with a bit above 90% of all IE visits coming from IE8 (and 173 already from IE9!).

Long Zheng will be joining us for a liveblog of the keynote at the beta launch event (internet connections willing, of course), so you can follow along at home, we’ll have a post up with the CoverItLive embed on Wednesday.  Hopefully you’ll be able to try out IE9 along with us as it is released to the web as a beta.  Will you give it a shot?  What will it take to get you to switch back from FF or Chrome?  We’ve put up a poll, and let us know what you think in the comments.