Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) - First Consistent Signs of Life Next Month

According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 8, the next iteration of its proprietary browser, as well as the successor of IE7, is alive and kicking and even standards compliant.

But if you are like me, then you'll need some sort of palpable proof, and a hands-on experience in order to qualify as a consistent sign of life. At the MIX06 conference a couple of years back, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates introduced Internet Explorer 7, the browser that was released later that year in October. MIX07 was focused almost exclusively on Microsoft's Flash killer, Silverlight, and only scarce details of IE8 were presented, the company still referring to the browser version of IE as Next.

Although by the end of 2007 it had already been confirmed that Microsoft was running early development milestones of Internet Explorer 8 inhouse, Dean Hachamovitch, IE General Manager, following a reference of the browser made by Gates, also "unveiled" IE8 to the world. Namely, just the label that the next version of IE will bear.

And in mid-December 2007, Hachamovitch also offered a sneak preview of the evolution of IE8, by illustrating the standard support that was added to the browser during development throughout the second half of 2007. The December development milestone of Internet Explorer 8 rendered correctly the "Acid2 Face" test, while running in standards mode. And at the end of January 2008, Chris Wilson, IE Platform Architect, revealed the work poured into making IE8 backwards compatible, while at the same time supporting the latest standards.

As far as actually getting your hands on IE8 goes, Microsoft only revealed that the first beta for the browser would be dropped by mid 2008, with additional details to be presented at MIX08. At this point in time, there isn't any reference pointing to Internet Explorer 8 on the MIX08 official website, but Dean Hachamovitch is scheduled to appear during the keynote on March 5, one month from now, alongside Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect and Scott Guthrie, General Manager in the Microsoft Developer Division. It doesn't hurt to hope for the first IE8 beta at MIX08, but you shouldn't get your hopes up just yet.


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