Internet Explorer 9, the next version of the world’s most popular browser will launch next Monday March 14th. Downloads will be available beginning at 9am Pacific time.

Microsoft has been testing the product for the last year through the release of a public beta and public release candidate last month.

IE9 is a critical release for Microsoft which is attempting to stem nearly a decade of decline in the use of its browser. In February of 2011, all versions of IE commanded just under 57% in global market share according to NetMarketshare, down from nearly 95% a decade ago.

Microsoft's two primary competitors in the web browsing marketplace, Firefox and Google Chrome, now command just under one third of the market with a 21.7% and 10.9% market share respectively. The two browsers have been able to steal market share from IE by offering a more secure and significantly faster web browsing experience with more innovative features and a more streamlined user interface.

To gain users back, Microsoft has significantly increased the speed of its web browser, improved the user interface including an address bar search which Google Chrome has had for some time along with support for HTML5 and other web standards, and support for hardware-accelerated graphics.

Not all Windows users will be able to update to the latest browser. In order to use IE9 you will need to be running either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7, Vista or  Server 2008 with the latest service packs, Windows XP is not supported.

Download the new version on Monday from and then  discuss in Digital Home's Window's Computing forum .