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On the road to IE 8 RC1

Like Windows 7 Beta 1, the next test build of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 isn't due until early in the new year. And as is the case with Win7, there are lots of expectations for the fixes that will be part of that build.

Like Windows 7 Beta 1, the next test build of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 isn't due until early in the new year. And as is the case with Win7, there are lots of expectations for the fixes that will be part of that build.

Microsoft dropped some hints about what will be in IE 8 Release Candidate (RC) 1 when it released the latest partner build of IE 8 to select testers just last week. TG Daily posted a review of that IE 8 partner build, and detailed some of the changes that are coming in "InPrivate"  browsing, accessibility, overall reliability and speed.

Dean Hachamovitch, IE General Manager, declined to provide details about what kinds of new functionality and fixes will be in the RC. Hachmovitch said on December 16 that the RC build will include both IT-specific changes and developer-specific updates. One known change coming with the RC build will be an optional list of popular Internet sites that will be predesignated to make use of IE 8's compatibility mode (rather than the default standards mode) so that they will display properly.

"The RC is just around the corner," Hachamovitch said. With the RC, it's the time for Web and custom-site developers to figure out how they'll get their sites ready for IE 8, he said.

Meanwhile, speaking of IE, on December 17, Microsoft is releasing an emergency patch for IE 7  to plug a zero-day browser vulnerability that has led to an escalating number of attacks.