We’re excited to release IE8 Beta 2 today for public download. You can find it at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8. Please try it out!
You’ll find versions for 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. In addition to English, IE8 Beta 2 is available in Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), and German. Additional languages will be available soon.
While Beta 1 was for developers, we think that anyone who browses or works on the web will enjoy IE8 Beta 2. Before the team blogs about our Beta 2 in detail, here’s an overview of what you’ll find in IE8.
We focused our work around three themes: everyday browsing (the things that real people do all the time), safety (the term most people use for what we’ve called ‘trustworthy’ in previous posts), and the platform (the focus of Beta 1, how developers around the world will build the next billion web pages and the next waves of great services).
We looked very hard at how people really browse the web. We looked at a lot of data about how people browse and tried a lot of different designs in front of many kinds of people, not just technologists. As tempting as it is to list here all the changes both big and small in IE8, we’ll take a more holistic approach. That’s how we built the product and how we’d like to talk about it.
From our customer research, we saw that the bulk of user activity outside of web pages involved tabs and “navigation” – the act of getting to the site the user wants to get to. We also knew that adding features has an impact only if they’re “in the flow” of how people actually use the product. Another menu item might matter in a checklist on a blog somewhere, but won’t matter to real people browsing. That’s why IE8’s New Tab experience is so remarkable: it’s obvious – after you see it:
Download: Internet Explorer 8 (English, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese)