Microsoft released the latest in its line of web browsers, Internet Explorer 9, at the Southwest Conferences and Festivals (SXSW) in Austin Texas. If early reviews are anything to go by, IE 9, designed to revitalize the long surviving series of browsers and counter growing competition from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, has lived up to its high expectations.

On Monday, March 14, software giant Microsoft announced at the high-profile SXSW festival the availability of its new Web browser, Internet Explorer 9. After months of testing and the beta release in September, IE 9 was released on the Beauty of the Web site.

The IE 9 saw success early as its beta version hit 2 million downloads in its first two days. Interestingly, the browser managed to sustain the excitement even after months of testing and no major changes reported between the beta version and the final release.

The launch of the Internet Explorer 9 has set the tech press abuzz. Early reviews of the browser that boasts of speed and a minimalistic design are largely positive.

Dubbing IE9 Microsoft's prettiest browser yet, VentureBeat remarked, For those heading into the browser for the first time, prepare to be wowed by its speed and design.

PCWorld called it Impressive hailing IE 9 ability to render more attractive, more interactive sites. Microsoft's main selling point behind IE9 is the browser's ability to tell the graphics card in the PC to speed up to render graphics and motion more quickly, the report said.

Ahead of the launch, eWeek quoted statistics showing the surging market share of Chrome while Microsoft struggled to stabilize, to state Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft's Hope for Battling Chrome, Firefox.

Sinces its beta stage, the browser has been creating ripples with its ability to turn any site into a Windows Applications. Users can drag and drop any url to the Taskbar and the site will become automatically a Windows application! The chrome of IE will adapt to the Facebook logo, you will be able to quickly jump to specific part of the sites and also receive notifications (through icon updates), Giorgio Sardo blog had explained in Sep 2010.

Nevertheless, the ghosts of the past will still haunt the latest Internet Explorer. Security concerns over IE 9 have emerged especially following the recent fall of its predecessor to hack attacks at Pwn2Own. Microsoft also continues to urge users to abandon decade-old Internet Explorer 6 on security concerns. The company even launched Internet Explorer 6 Countdown website with the tagline 'Moving the world off Internet Explorer 6.'

ZDNet, which identified security concerns as IE 9's Achilles Heel, also added user interface and compatibility to the list of negatives.

Apparently, the designers of modern web browsers share a philosophy with supermodels: You simply can't be too thin.

IE 9 follows that dictate to a fault, combining the address bar and browser tabs into a single row that is significantly more compact than its rivals, the review commented on user experience.

Calling compatibility the biggest weak spot for IE 9, the report stated, Ironically, it's not a flaw with the rendering engine that causes most problems. Instead, the cause is legacy code on sites that target a specific Internet Explorer version and haven't accounted for the possibility that Microsoft would one day ship a browser that doesn't need a page full of hacks to display properly.

Although some of the flaws of Internet Explorer 9 have emerged, the browser has been received on a positive note. IE 9 has not only earned the reputation of being capable enough to take on its rivals but also has garnered a lot of praise for Microsoft for delievering a browser that is expected to be in the run for a long haul.