Microsoft 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!
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.