Windows 7 testers won't be able to install Microsoft's near-final Release Candidate (RC) test build of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 -- a limitation Microsoft is acknowledging and saying is by design.
The IE 8 RC is expected to be downloadable by the public any day now. Earlier this month, Microsoft made available to the public the (only expected) public beta of Windows 7.
An eagle-eyed blogging chum of mine spotted this tweet (from a freelance writer/editor colleague of mine) over the weekend:
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that the tweet from writer Robert Vamosi was, indeed, accurate. Her e-mailed statement in response to my query:
"It's not really a 'won't work' issue as much as a 'won't install issue' since it is a beta and the goal is to get feedback on the Windows 7 beta itself. (Here's info on the IE build that's in Win7 beta.)"
The version of IE 8 that is part of the Windows 7 beta is an interim beta release and is not the equivalent of the forthcoming RC.
Microsoft officials have said the company is planning to deliver one more public test build of IE 8 (the aforementioned RC) before releasing the final version of IE 8 in calendar 2009.
The RC build of IE 8 is going to include new compatibility-mode functionality, which will make use of a list of heavily trafficked Web sites that don't work properly with the default standards mode in IE 8, and thus will default to compatibility mode with no user intervention required.
How/when/if Windows 7 users will get a more recent test build of IE 8 that does work on Win 7 remains to be seen. Microsoft is not sharing more details about that at this time....