Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Is Close – Microsoft Says Get Ready

After spending in excess of a year cooking, Internet Explorer 8 is, finally, almost here. Microsoft has already started shipping the bits for the first beta version of Internet Explorer 8. For the time being, IE8 Beta 1 is available exclusively to a pre-selected pool of testers.

The private beta is well under way with the first testers already having installed the preview of IE8. Microsoft has yet to confirm this, but I have contacted the company in this regard and will give you an update as soon as I'll have anything to share. Still, there is palpable proof that IE8 Beta 1 is already being test driven, and even more that the Redmond company is approaching the moment when it will release the Beta to the general public.

In this regard, Microsoft has been urging web developers to update their sites with Internet Explorer 8 support. At the end of the past week, Eric Lawrence, IE Program Manager, revealed the need for websites sensitive to User-Agent string modifications to be tweaked in order to support the upcoming version of Internet Explorer. It turns out that the same is valid for the RSS Platform User-Agent String.

"Eric Lawrence presented the User-Agent string for the beta version of Internet Explorer 8 which will be available later this year. The RSS Platform will also introduce an updated User-Agent string for use with the IE8 beta. For details on the RSS Platform User-Agent string in IE7 please take a look here. The change is a simple increment of the version number to '2.0' as in: Windows-RSS-Platform/2.0 (MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0)," stated Walter vonKoch, Program Manager, Microsoft RSS.

Microsoft will give a presentation of the new features of IE8 at MIX08, next week in Las Vegas. The first public taste of IE8 will come courtesy of Dean Hachamovitch, IE General Manager. I have also asked Microsoft when they plan to make IE8 available as a public Beta. It's unlikely that the company will give an accurate date, but it never hurts to hope.

"And as before, note that there are two cases to keep in mind: the user is not subscribed to the feed (the user navigates to a feed and IE presents a preview of the content.) and the user is subscribed to the feed. (the RSS Platform retrieves the feed content on a schedule (or on demand)). In the first case, the request is made by IE and hence the IE User-Agent string is used. In the second case, the RSS Platform User-Agent string is used," vonKoch added.


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