On the one-year anniversary of the launch Internet Explorer (IE) 7, the IE team posted yet another "stay tuned" message to the IE team blog, regarding an informational update on IE 8.
Tony Chor, Group Program Manager, posted that IE 7 is now used by 300 million individuals, according to data from Visual Sciences. According to this data, IE 7 is the second most popular browser, after IE 6. IE 7 already is the most popular in the U.S. and the UK and Microsoft expects it to surpass IE 6 worldwide "shortly," Chor said.
"While we’re happy with how well IE7 is doing, as always, we continue to listen to our customers and find ways to further improve Internet Explorer. Look for more news on this front in the coming weeks."
Commenters on the November 30 IE Team Blog post quickly voiced their opinion that Microsoft is overdue in providing information on IE 8. Users have been clamoring for an IE update for months to no avail.
Poster "LorenzoDV" said, "While IE7 is (was) a big step ahead, we really need to move on, especially towards full CSS 2.1 (and even 3.0) compliance. Please update us on IE8."
Poster "William" added, "If there is any update on the progress of IE8, that would be brilliant! If I remember correctly, I watched an interview with Bill Gates and he said there would be annual updates to IE). As much as I am a loyal user, I note that more and more websites are no longer using IE hacks, and the experience is degrading to the IE-user.. Security is important, but not everything!"
Microsoft Chairman Gates did, indeed, promise quicker browser updates going forward. He suggested at one point that Microsoft would provide new IE releases every 9 to 12 months. With IE 8 seemingly not in any kind of external beta test yet, it seems like it is going to be a lot longer than that before Microsoft it provides a new version of IE.
Microsoft has said it plans to make a test version of an IE 7 refresh available to testers in December. But no one is providing any kind of due dates or feature sets for IE 8.