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Microsoft: IE9 Beta Released in September

Microsoft is inviting selected members of the press and "VIPs" to a September 15 event in San Francisco where it will launch the beta of Internet Explorer (IE) 9.

Company officials said in July that Microsoft would be launching the IE 9 beta in September, but didn't provide the specific date.

Microsoft's beta launch theme is about developers and designers coming together to showcase the "beauty of the Web."

According to an August 12 post on Microsoft's Windows Team blog, "invitees get an e-mail invitation with a link to a special HTML5 website. To RSVP, they have to complete a word puzzle by creating a single word out of the letters "V E A N T I" and filling in the phrase "Unlock the _ _ _ _ _ _ web."

(The answer is "Native.")

Microsoft has launched four developer previews of IE9 since March 2010. Company officials haven't discussed the final due date for the latest, more-standards-compliant browser, but many of us are thinking it will be in 2011. (I've stated publicly I'm betting it could debut in final form as early as April 2011 at the Mix conference.)

On twitter, some of my blogging colleagues are debating whether the new user interface, which presumably will be part of the beta, will be in the simple "Metro" style characterized by Zune HD and Windows Phone 7, or more Ribbon-like. I'm hoping the former, but fearing the latter.

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