Microsoft has released the date for its launch of Internet Explorer 9. The beta version will be available to download on the 15 September, the Richmond-based company confirmed, but full details of any new functionality are scant.

The company should formally release the new version at its "Beauty of the Web" event in San Francisco, where it will no doubt hope to wow people and fend off competition from rivals such as Firefox and Chrome.

However, if you're still using Windows XP you'll need to update as the browser will only work on Windows Vista and 7.

Details of the new browser, gleaned by the Register, include Open Font Format embedded fonts, will run Google's WebM video codec and the closed H.264 codec, whilst it increases support for HTML5 with new video and audio. and support for HTML5.

Microsoft's browser has come under  increasing competition of late, especially since the new EU ruling which stated that a browser ballot screen was required on new computer purchases.