Microsoft has put out a call for more Internet Explorer (IE) 8 beta testers via the IE Blog this week.
The next beta of IE 8 is due some time in August. Microsoft officials said recently to expect the final version of IE 8 to be released to the Web later this year.
In a July 30 posting on the IE blog, Microsoft solicited additional testers for the upcoming beta, which is going to be targeted at users (as opposed to developers, who were the target of Beta 1 of IE 8, which Microsoft released in March). From the blog:
"Beta 2 is right around the corner and we are expanding our reach! If you wish to be a part of making IE better by contributing great bug reports then please email us at IESO@microsoft.com and tell us a little about yourself including why you’d be a great beta tester."
IE team members also blogged earlier this week about some of the new reliability features that Microsoft is building into IE 8. One of these -- automatic crash recovery, which will help users get back to the site/page they last visited before a browser crash -- is one of those features that I (and plenty of other IE users) requested repeatedly when Microsoft asked what we wanted to see in the next IE release.
Microsoft also highlighted in the blog post another forthcoming feature of IE 8 that it is calling "loosely-coupled IE," which the team describes as "an architectural feature that helps isolate different parts of the browser from each other for smoother browsing performance."
The IE team has been stepping up its feature disclosure via the IE blog over the past few months, following complaints by developers and customers that Microsoft wasn't providing enough information and direction on its plans. The IE team also has been cautioning Web site owners regularly to make sure that IE 8, which will be more standards-compliant, won't wreak havoc on their sites and applications by testing early and often and adding a new tag to head off compatibility potential problems.