IE9 beta hits 15 million downloads, but Google Chrome cuts into Microsoft share

Internet Explorer 9 has been downloaded 15 million times by since the beta was unveiled 10 weeks ago, said Wednesday.

IE9 was in the first 48 hours it was available, and 13 million more times since then, although it still commands less than half of a percent of the worldwide market for Web browsers.  The 15 million downloads represent 0.38% of the world's total browser usage, and just a fraction of the or so Windows 7 users (IE9 is available only on Vista and Windows 7).

Microsoft lost ground in the browser market in , with all editions of Internet Explorer combined now claiming 58.3% of users, down from 59.2% in October, according to . 

Rival Google Chrome claimed most of IE's lost share, upping usage from 8.5% to 9.25% in just one month.

Despite Internet Explorer's continued slide in the browser market, Microsoft Marketing Director Roger Capriotti enthused optimism in a , noting the 15 million download milestone for IE9 as well as numbers that show enterprises moving from IE6 to IE8.