Microsoft has 2.35million reasons to smile a bit more today after the company announced that was the number of downloads of its latest web browser.

Internet Explorer 9 jumped out of the blocks on March 15 and offers new features compared with IE8 such as support for H.264 and WebM video through new HTML5 specifications.

However, support for WebM is being seen as a backhander to Google, which decided to remove H.264 codec support from its Chrome browser. Google says its decision was motivated by legal impedements to open H.264 use. Others say Google’s desires were more about promoting its new WebM format.

WebM is a combination of the VP6 video codec, purchased when Google bought On Technologies early in 2010, and the Vorbis audio codec. Google says its confident that WebM is an entirely open-source media solution. Others have their doubts.

At the moment, Microsoft is making third-party plugins for both Firefox and Google Chrome browsers to enable users to access H.264 video on the web. But the software giant continues to snipe at WebM’s openness and possible legal risks involved with WebM use.

With everything moving to the web at break-neck speed, the browser is fast becoming the new operating system. So we can only expect this battle to continue to heat up in the coming months.

And while 2.35million downloads in one day is great, there is no word on how many users are using it on a continuing basis.

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