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Internet Explorer 9 preview 7 available, takes SunSpider crown; Beta now downloaded 13 million times

IE9 tops the sunspider benchmark
As of a few moments ago, you can now download Platform Preview 7 of Internet Explorer 9. The main focus of this update is the continued enhancement of the Chakra JavaScript engine; as a result, IE9 now leads the SunSpider benchmark by a few percent.

Like its predecessors, this preview lacks any kind of useful UI -- but if you have the Beta installed, you can follow Lee's guide to hack the Beta UI onto the preview. The Beta, incidentally, has now been downloaded over 13 million times. We're not seeing significant use of IE9 amongst Download Squad readers, but with almost 4% of Ed Bott'z ZDNet readership using IE9, there's definitely some evidence of its growing popularity. With my sources indicating a January release of IE9, Microsoft really ought to release a second beta...

Anyway, in infinitely more exciting news, there's a bunch of cool new HTML5 demos on the Test Drive site to play around with! Shakespeare's Tag Cloud is very cute (and educational!) Galactic, on the other hand, is an excellent example of the 'Open Web' 3D games that we can expect to see next year. It also acts as a very good benchmark tool -- I may have to do another head-to-head browser shootout!

Update: I just tested IE9 on the 'real world' Kraken benchmark... and it beats Firefox!

Another update: The IE Blog has been updated with more information about Preview 7.

Tags: benchmark, beta, browsers, chakra, developer preview, DeveloperPreview, ie9, internet explorer, internet explorer 9, InternetExplorer, InternetExplorer9, javascript, platform preview, PlatformPreview, sunspider