As promised, Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 9 in its stable RTM form a year after releasing the first "platform preview" build. The browser managed to maintain the excitement among users during its several months of testing, which saw a public beta last September and the launch of the first Release Candidate in February, as it marks a clear departure from previous versions in terms of design, features, and browser-engine.

It also showed that the software giant is ready to step up the fight against rivals Firefox and Chrome, even though the stigma of being insecure and requiring a page full of hacks to display websites properly might still take some time shaking off in the minds of developers and those who have long abandoned the browser.

To take the freshly released Internet Explorer 9 for a spin chose the appropriate link below and start your download:
Internet Explorer 9 for Windows 7 64-bit | 32-bit, Internet Explorer 9 for Vista 64-bit | 32-bit version

Among the new features in IE9 is a refreshed minimalistic look, deeper integration with the Windows 7 Jump List feature, better support for HTML5, CSS3 and other web standards, performance improvements particularly in JavaScript execution, and hardware acceleration for web-page rendering. It also includes a tracking protection feature that gives users a way to stop third-party sites from building profiles on their web activities.

The browser is available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, but not XP due to a decision to "push the web forward". In the same vein Microsoft is urging users to abandon decade-old IE6 over security concerns and recently launched the Internet Explorer 6 Countdown website with the tagline 'Moving the world off Internet Explorer 6.'