Microsoft has been on a literal sprint to get Internet Explorer 9 into the market, and with its final launch date now in sight, the company is beginning to discuss life after release.

According to sources, the software giant intends on continuing to release developer previews of Internet Explorer technology even after Internet Explorer 9 launches. Microsoft has been using developer previews of pre-launch IE9 builds to show off upgrades, and to allow developers to interface with the product in the quickest possible fashion.

We have covered a number of developer previews on TNW, generally when they came wrapped in a new benchmark or speed test, but they have been invaluable to the development world in terms of staying up to date as to what is about to be released to the market. It is important to remember that once it is released, IE9 will become the world’s most popular browser.

According to the original source, the developer previews are expected to continue until the Internet Explorer 10 beta. Speculation has recently cropped up that the world might be shown its very first look at Internet Explorer 10 at this year’s MIX conference in April.

Of course, Internet Explorer Mobile 9 is expected to be released this year as part of the Mango Windows Phone 7 update, so the Internet Explorer space for the rest of the year will remain hot.

According to certain statistics providers, Internet Explorer is under 50% market share, although we estimate that it retains at least half of the market. With the continuing developer previews, it could be that Microsoft begins to repair sour relations with many coders that have been hurt by years of uncompliant browser releases.

startuprally2 Microsoft to continue IE developer previews after launch of IE9