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IE 9 RC Goes Live Today! But there's a catch...

IE 9 Release Candidate is available, but won't run without SP1 installed on Win7

IE 9 Release Candidate is available, but will not run without SP1 installed

Happy Valentines Day from Microsoft? Maybe yes, maybe no… You can’t run this still-beta version of IE 9 unless you’ve installed SP1 on Windows 7, and SP1 for Windows 7 isn’t available just yet. There is a download link available but if you try to install the IE 9 RC on Windows 7 without SP1 installed, you’ll get an error message instead of a new browser.

But here’s an interesting and perhaps cheering rumor to ponder that flies in the face of previous news about SP1: in his CMS Wire story “Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate Hits the Streets” today, Geoff Spick reports that “…When IE9 starts shipping with new copies of Windows 7 Service Pack, its usage will certainly spike, but until then, it will be interesting to watch how it does in the market where the user picks the browser.” If this means that it’s going to be included in SP1, we should find out next week. If this means it won’t be bundled in until SP2 comes out, it could be a while.

This does make me want to dig into the contents of SP1 rather sooner than later after it hits MSDN on February 22, just to see if IE 9 is in or out. If Microsoft’s own reporting up to a month ago or so is to believed, it won’t be part of that package. It will still be fun to check, though…but I don’t think Microsoft would go so far as to put a RC (release candidate) version of their latest browser into SP1, now that I stop to think about it. Perhaps it would have been clearer had Mr. Spick said “…with the next Windows 7 Service Pack to follow after SP1 (SP1 is already in the hands of OEMs, and is expected to hit MSDN and TechNet on February 22)…”?

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