Internet Explorer 9 is open for business

As promised, Microsoft has released the latest version of Internet Explorer, adding new feature to help it better compete with Firefox and Chrome.

The date was set to correspond to the SXSW show in Austin, Texas. It barely fits into the company’s earlier promise to release IE9 in the first quarter of the year.

The new browser is now low, and soon it will try to push the download to Windows Vista and Windows 7 users.

One noteworthy thing about IE9 is that it will not run on Windows XP, which remains the most widely used form of Microsoft’s operating system.

Speaking of widely used, Internet Explorer has remained the most common Web browser, though it has lost market share to competing products like Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome. The tough competition has forced Microsoft to stay ahead of the game and ensure its browser is as up-to-date as possible.

IE9 comes at the same time Mozilla is planning to update its browser as well, though numerous delays have caused some uncertainty as to when Firefox 4 will actually be available. It had at one point been slated for a November 2010 release.