Microsoft to Release IE8 Today

IE8Microsoft is expected to announce the final release of Internet Explorer 8.0 at MIX09 in Las Vegas today. It will be released to the public at 12.00 noon New York time (4pm UTC/GMT) and be available for download from the Microsoft website.

This is the first major release for the browser since IE7 in October 2006. Since that time, both Apple and Google entered the market with their own critically acclaimed browsers and Mozilla released Firefox 3.0, with v3.5 coming soon.

Microsoft claims that IE8:

  • is almost 50% faster than other browsers at page loading
  • offers quicker browsing with Accelerators
  • allows websites designed for older browsers to be “fixed” using the Compatibility View button
  • helps you keep up to date with news and other information with Web Slices, and
  • blocks two to four times the amount of malware caught by rival browsers

Whether these claims stand up to closer scrutiny will be evident soon.

Are you excited about IE8? Will you install it as soon as it is available? Are new browsers offering any real innovation? Will IE8 simply make web testing more difficult? Comments welcome!

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  • Jason Hardy

    I can only imagine that this will make everything more difficult for web developers in testing… just another layer of Microsoft IE that will probably cause more work for us.

  • David Eglin

    Whilst a new browser with updated compatibility etc is always welcome, the problem from my point of view whenever MS releases a new browser is that none of the new features really matter as long as IE6 is still around. The fact of the matter is that those of us in the profession are still going to have to spend large amounts of our time testing against this old, non compliant browser. I know MS have now stopped support for windows 2000, but it would have been nice if they had at least updated the browser support. As it stands, IE8 will make little or no difference to me, as I still have to cater for the lowest common denominator (and that, sadly, has to include IE6, as far as the people I work for are concerned)

  • mwistrand

    While most people probably won’t upgrade their browsers for another couple of years, I’m still excited for IE8. Does anyone know how customizable it will be? I know there was another article earlier that briefly mentioned this, but I haven’t heard any word since.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    I predict that IE7 users will upgrade quickly. However, the release in unlikely to have a major impact on those still using IE6 (see “The Slow Lingering Death of IE6″).

  • marcopolo

    I haven’t used IE for years, except for testing purposes. At any opportunity I advise my mates to use a decent browser. I think I, like many other web developers, will bear a grudge against IE forever because of the headaches experienced fixing bug after bug for previous versions of IE.

  • madr

    Oh, I will absolutely install it! I will setup yet another VM in my workstation (a mac).

    Time will tell if I will be forced to have another with IE8 in constant compability mode, or If I can get away with only 3 instances.

  • http://www.dynamicpixel.co.uk neron-fx

    Does anyone know how the hell we are supposed to test all these version of IE without possesing two PC’s???

    I currently have one PC running IE7 natively and IE6.5 using Multi-IE software from Tredosoft. However this software has been discontinued and they are no long developing for it.

    From the Tredosoft website

    Multiple IE is no longer maintained and there are no plans to continue maintaining it! Thanks and good luck!

    Which begs the question, If IE8 is anything like previous versions and overwrites previous IE installs then how the hell are we meant to test all three versions?!?!

    My job as a developer just keeps on getting harder…

  • rozner

    Use a virtual machine. I work on a Mac but with VMWare I can run several instances of Windows to see what things will look like in IE. I’ll probably put IE8 on one of those, although I don’t think I’ll be changing from Firefox anytime soon. At my day job the standard is IE6… although I use Firefox anyway, but the intranet apps we develop are for IE6. I hate to say it but I don’t see this company upgrading any time soon. All of the intranet apps here run only on IE6. That makes it a very big deal to upgrade.

  • http://www.brianswebdesign.com skunkbad

    I agree with Jason Hardy. I feel that IE8 will potentially make more work for me, which has been the true nature of IE since I’ve been designing websites. I hope I’m wrong.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    @neron-fx

    how the hell are we meant to test all three versions?

    These posts might help…

    1. How to Build the Best Browser Test Suite

    2. Microsoft SuperPreview: a New Way to Test Websites

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    Incidentally, IE8 final is now available – head on over to http://www.microsoft.com/ie8 for a copy.

  • IE SUCK

    IE SUCK

  • http://www.mjswebsolutions.com type0

    I’m afraid as a web designer I’ll now have to code for IE6, IE7 and now IE8. What a mess. Why can’t we all just use Firefox and forget it. But then I’d be out of a job. ;-)

  • MauiMan2

    Is it going to write my IE7, thereby making it hard for me to test web pages in IE7 and IE8?

  • MauiMan2

    Is it going to OVERwrite my IE7, thereby making it hard for me to test web pages in IE7 and IE8?

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    Yes, it will overwrite IE7 (or whichever version of IE you’re running).

  • MauiMan2

    “Yes, it will overwrite IE7″

    That makes soooo much sense, Microsoft! Thank you for making it extra hard for developers to test for all your different versions.

  • Miguel Alvarez

    Does anyone use analytics? I do and only 16% of the people that come to my site use any version of IE, so I don’t give a damn about supporting it. I feel sorry for those who do though, LOL.

  • http://www.aikon.com.ve joaquin_win

    Are you excited about IE8?

    excited? o yeah! as much as when I was about to crash my bike when I was learning to ride it :S

    Hopefully IE9 and next will not be such a big change and will have to stop worrying about it since websites will look preety much the same (who worries when a new firefox comes out?)

  • http://www.j9consultants.com jef2904

    Finally, now i can start to drop default support for ie6. I probably won’t include it in my web projects by mid September.

  • adimauro

    the problem from my point of view whenever MS releases a new browser is that none of the new features really matter as long as IE6 is still around.

    I completely agree with this quote. New IE browsers make no difference, because nearly 20% of people are STILL stuck on IE6. It’s mostly due to the fact that it took so many years for IE7 to come out, now all these companies are ‘tied-in’ with no way out. I have the uneasy feeling that we are stuck with IE6 for years to come.
    Still, as others have mentioned, at the very least the release of SuperPreview will hopefully be helpful for testing, though it’s still in beta. There are other testers available, with their own inherent issues/problems. I have a feeling that it is in Microsoft’s best interest to make SuperPreview as ‘developer friendly’ as possible, since they have managed to cause so many headaches over the years. I don’t think there will be a rush to IE8, so I’m probably going to wait for SuperPreview final to come out before upgrading.

  • http://fcOnTheWeb.com ferrari_chris

    I’m excited. And I’ll be upgrading at the first possible opportunity. :D

  • Chet

    I think for most of you who are worried about more tasks are coming :D; testing your website with IE6, IE7, and now IE8, you should not worry about that.

    If your previous sites which you designed for IE6/IE7 and now they are not yet ready for IE8 either you have no time, or do not want to update it, you can just place this meta tag:

    This line will make IE8 render your sites almost the same way they are rendered in IE7 :), by the way IE8 is also great, in my idea :)

  • LFA

    For those of you concerned with testing for IE6, try “my-debugbar” http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/

    This tool has helped me alot…

  • Dale

    I agree, IE6 is still used everywhere. I always see people using IE6. The problem is that there is a lot of sites which only work on IE6 especially in the corporate world where tools last for 5 years or more.

  • sitehatchery

    Probably already been mentioned, but you can test multiple versions of IE using: http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage

    I’m looking forward to to IE8. Seems like the sites have held up pretty well in that version compared to IE6 and IE7. There are a few things I’ve run into that I wish I had an IE 8 hack for which I could perform in a stylesheet versus the html file.

  • Ryan Colgin

    I just ask that IE8 destroy IE6 and IE7 upon installation… please! Then I will truly be a happy camper.

  • http://www.tibobeijen.nl Tybe-O

    I’m a bit worried about the ‘Compatibility View’ feature. It might be tempting to use it as it minimizes effort to make a website compatible with both IE7 and IE8. If a lot of people keep doing that, IE webdevelopment as a whole won’t evolve.

    Besides that, it’s automatically turned on (part under ‘Compatibility View and the enterprise’) when visiting intranet pages. Which can be circumvented from the IE8 settings but that’s something you don’t have control over as a developer…

  • http://www.flixon.com jgd12345

    MauiMan2 Says:
    March 20th, 2009 at 4:03 am
    “Yes, it will overwrite IE7″

    “That makes soooo much sense, Microsoft! Thank you for making it extra hard for developers to test for all your different versions.”

    Did you miss that you can render the page in ie7 mode via the developer tools built into ie8.

  • Stevie D

    jef2904:

    Finally, now i can start to drop default support for ie6. I probably won’t include it in my web projects by mid September.

    The launch of IE8 will make pretty much no difference to IE6. The vast majority of people using IE6:
    * are using Windows 2000 or older, so can’t install IE7/8
    * are using a locked-down corporate network and can’t choose what browser to use
    * could have upgraded to IE7 but don’t know or care enough to bother.

    How many of those people do you think will download and install IE8 now? Globally? You could count them on one hand…

    From my own website, there are almost as many people using IE6 as are using Firefox (all versions), and more people using IE6 than are using Safari, Opera, Mozilla, Chrome, PDAs, mobile phones and all other unknown browsers put together.

    Anyone who builds sites for general use that don’t work in IE6 is grossly unprofessional and a disgrace to the industry, and that isn’t likely to change in the next year or two.

  • perpetual_dream
  • http://www.fastliondesign.com FastLionDesign

    You can also test different versions of IE at:
    http://ipinfo.info/netrenderer/index.php

    Netrenderer tests IE8, 7, 6 and 5.5. It is a free service. Many of you may already know about this, but I figure I’d mention it for those who don’t.

  • MikesBarto2002

    Is there a plugin out there that will ask users to upgrade their IE version without having to actually put a message into the HTML? Like a popup or a message where the ActiveX message usually pops up?

  • MauiMan2

    “Did you miss that you can render the page in ie7 mode via the developer tools built into ie8?”

    Yes, I missed that. Maybe they should also work in an IE6 mode.

  • http://www.faridhadi.com FaridHadi

    What do they mean by “allows websites designed for older browsers to be “fixed” using the Compatibility View button”?

    Does it mean that IE8 can render pages like in IE7 and IE6?

    If that is the case I’d actually be excited about IE8. I still haven’t upgraded to IE7 because of not being able to check IE6 support in a simple way.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    What do they mean by “allows websites designed for older browsers to be “fixed” using the Compatibility View button”?

    Please take a look at “IE8: Standards Mode Opt-In is Back From the Dead”. If enough people press that button (whether it’s accidental, out of curiosity, or spite), your IE8-compatible site may appear in IE7 mode.

  • charlesp

    It might have been a coincidence but after I installed IE 8 I couldn’t open FireFox 3.0.7