Near-final IE 8 test build ready for download

Near-final IE 8 test build ready for download

Summary: On January 26, Microsoft made available to the public for download a near-final test build of its Internet Explorer (IE) 8 browser.

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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On January 26, Microsoft made available to the public for download a near-final test build of its Internet Explorer (IE) 8 browser.

The IE 8 Release Candidate (RC) 1 is the last public build Microsoft expects to deliver before releasing the final version of the product, which will be available as a standalone download and part of Windows 7. (Microsoft will continue to make smaller private builds of the browser available to select testers in the coming weeks/months.)

Microsoft has made the IE 8 RC1 bits for 32-bit Vista, 64-bit Vista and Windows XP available on its Download Center for anyone interested in trying out the newest browser build.

The RC 1 build includes performance tweaks, compatibility enhancers and a few other fairly minor changes to the Beta 2 version of the product Microsoft made available to testers last summer. Microsoft officials are calling the IE 8 RC 1 build "platform-complete," meaning that developers and users should expect no more programming- or user-interface changes in the product from here on out.

What's changed since Beta 2?

  • The compatibility list enhancements: Microsoft is going to provide users who want it with a list of 2,000 sites that will automatically be viewed by default in compatibility view without users having to press the compatibility view button. (Microsoft will update this list every two months to reflect sites that are updated to be compatible with IE 8, officials said).
  • A new ClickJacking prevention option: Developers will be able to add a tage in a page header that will help detect and prevent click-jacking. According to Microsoft, IE 8 "will detect sites that insert the tag and give users a new error screen indicating that the content host has chosen not to allow their content to be framed, while giving users the option to open the content in a new window."
  • Changes to the Smart Address bar: Besides matching URLs in a user's site history the bar now also better matches titles in their history and favorites.

Other changes include performance tweaks that will speed up page loading; changes to the Instant Search Box (to include a "quick pick menu" at the bottom, so users can toggle between their favorite search suggestions from different search providers); full support for CSS 2.1; and a renaming of InPrivate Blocking (part of "porn mode") to InPrivate Filtering. With IE 8 RC1, users can manually adjust the threshold between 3 and 30 in InPrivate Filtering settings. A full list of what's changed in IE 8 since the beta is here.

As Microsoft acknowledged recently, IE 8 RC1 won't work on the Windows 7 Beta; Windows 7 testers who want to try the RC need to run it in a virtual machine.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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63 comments
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  • Too early

    Nothing on download pages, also please double-check your links...
    Mike Chaliy
  • I quite like IE8

    There are a couple features in there that I like more than Firefox, like tab grouping. Accelerators are also quite good. I still think Firefox + GMarks + NoScript + AdBlock is better but IE8 should at least be given a shot.
    NonZealot
  • RE: Near-final IE 8 test build ready for download

    The address associated with the hyperlink associated with "IE 8 Release Candidate (RC) 1" above is typoed as http://www.micorsoft.com/ie which takes you to a squatter.
    goingbust
  • Bad link

    Mary, in your paragraph

    "The IE 8 Release Candidate (RC) 1 is the last public build Microsoft expects to deliver before releasing the final version of the product, which will be available as a standalone download and part of Windows 7. (Microsoft will continue to make smaller private builds of the browser available to select testers in the coming weeks/months.)"

    You link is incorrectly laid out.


    I'm being taken to www.mic[b]or[/b]soft.com/ie


    Thought I'd give a heads up :)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Be still my beating heart

    How many years since the last update? lol. Feel the innovation flowing.

    The mind reels.
    Chad_z
    • Why don't you look it up?

      [i]How many years since the last update?[/i]

      It has been slightly over 2 years since IE7 was released.

      It was slightly under 2 years between Firefox 2 and Firefox 3.

      It was 2.5 years between Safari 2 and Safari 3.

      Sounds like IE is now being updated about as often as the others.
      NonZealot
      • Yeah, but...

        How many years between FF 2.0 and 2.0.0.1 and between 2.0.0.1 and 2.0.0.2 and so on...Maybe that's what he meant. He's wondering why IE doesn't have new daily versions like FF.
        MGP2
        • Once a month?

          Most patch Tuesdays include at least one patch for IE. ;)
          NonZealot
          • Nothing is Perfect!!!

            Please be forgiving.
            Nsaf
  • IE8 Is Nothing Impressive

    I used it for 3 minutes in Windows 7 and immediately loaded up Firefox. It offers nothing over what Firefox has...

    IE hasn't been my primary browser since 2004.
    itanalyst2@...
    • Woops...never mind

      Deleted by user
      MGP2
    • To be fair

      If I judged everything that quickly I wouldn't have ever like Firefox either. It's not like it had me from install. And I still use both actually. I do prefer Firefox but it took a good forced 2 week period with it before it got to a point where I didn't prefer going back to IE7. I didn't like FF2 at all.

      If you're going to try IE8, do it for more than 3 minutes. Don't act like an expert after spending the time to download to the Firefox website.
      LiquidLearner
      • RE: To be fair

        <font color=grey><em>"If you're going to try IE8, do it for more than <strong>3 minutes</strong>."</em></font><br>

        <strong>4 minutes</strong> and you get a virus.<br>
        <br>
        ^o^<br>
        <br>
        n0neXn0ne
        • Message has been deleted.

          Nsaf
        • while...

          ...it is exciting that you've jumped on the
          band wagon, some actual input would be nice.
          I've never seen a virus on Vista. Ever. On
          Windows 7, I'm still perfectly clean, too.
          Where are the viruses of which you speak?
          evilkillerwhale@...
    • Why bother be here then???

      If you haven't used it for 4/5 years..why bother be here and comment....sho sho
      Nsaf
      • Maybe Because I've Used IE7 Too

        And quite extensively...nothing impressed me about that either...I hit several sites that I use in FF, and IE8 rendered them terribly. I've been using browsers long enough to know if it's worth a crap or not...IE8 isn't.
        itanalyst2@...
        • Please DON'T use/try IE8 then....

          So we we will be blessed of not having to read your biased and irratioanl imaginary review. Now because of your review, MS is running around trying to fix IEs problems...Please DO NOT use IE from now on.
          Nsaf
          • LOL - that's common sense - defeats the name doesn't it - LOL nt

            nt
            fr0thy2.
        • IE8 rendering

          Microsoft originally planned to ship IE8 with legacy rendering turned on by default.

          The community roared its disapproval. Opera went crying to anyone who would listen (as usual) bleating on about how Microsoft wasn't embracing standards.

          Microsoft said "but there are just too many sites out there that don't write their HTML properly and who will render incorrectly"

          "Doesn't matter" said Opera and FF, "you MUST support the standards"

          So Microsoft reversed it's decision and turned on standards-based rendering by default, leaving it's highly flexible legacy rendering engine as a backup should you visit sites that don't generate correct HTML.

          "Waahhhhh wahhhhh, my site doesn't render, waaah waaahhh, Microsoft is evil" complain all the vendors.

          You can't have it both ways people - either you want MS - still the most widely used browser vendor out there - to primarily render according to the standards ... or you don't. But you can't change your position based on how poorly most websites are constructed.
          de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023