IE8 coming in 2009

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 apparently will have its product
debut sometime next year, according to an announcement released earlier this week by the company. The Web browser is currently available as
IE8 Beta 2, and Microsoft hopes to get some more feedback from the
public and technical community before finalizing it.


A blog post by Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's general manager of
Internet Explorer, laid out a time line for IE8's release.


The release candidate (RC) version of IE8 will be available in
the "first quarter of 2009," Hachamovitch wrote, marking the end of
the beta period.


"We want the technical community of people and organizations
interested in web browsers to take this update [the RC version] as
a strong signal that IE8 is effectively complete and done," he
wrote.


After getting final feedback on the RC version, Microsoft plans
to deliver the final product. Hachamovitch didn't provide a
specific date. However, the time between RC and product release can
be short. In the case of Silverlight, Microsoft's multimedia
solution, it took just 17 days to go from RC to product
release.


The announcement of the IE8 product time line drew some
skeptical comments on Microsoft's IE blog. One reader wrote, "I
hope the time between RC and RTM [release to manufacturing] is at
LEAST 3 WEEKS so that we have time to sync up with whatever you
actually plan to ship."


Another reader asked if all of the internal IE8 fixes were
listed on the Microsoft Connect portal. "Kellie" of Microsoft
(perhaps Kellie Eickmeyer, IE lead program manager) replied that
the bug fixes would be posted "when the RC build is released."


At least three readers complained about testing a buggy Beta 2
version of IE8. They pleaded with Microsoft to release a third beta
before the RC. "Please give us a testable beta before a release
candidate," one wrote.


Microsoft wants feedback on "critical" matters, which
Hachamovitch described as "issues impacting robustness, security,
backwards compatibility, or completeness with respect to planned
standards work."


The protocol for reporting bugs is described here. To download IE8 Beta 2, click here.


Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105
Media Inc.
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About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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