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Tuesday, 26 February 2008 15:07

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 on the way

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Where do you want to surf today? No, that’s not the question behind the upcoming public beta of IE 8, which will start life in limited beta testing first, before moving on to general beta availability for all, probably in ‘beta 2’ before mid 2008.

Cnet has uncovered an ActiveWin posting on the upcoming limited availability of Internet Explorer 8 beta 1.

It’ll be a closed, technical beta to start with, but before the second half of the year is here, we’ll all be able to try IE 8 for ourselves, probably in beta 2 form.

ActiveWin’s IE 8 post includes an email from Microsoft, only intended for those invited to the IE 8 beta 1 testing program.

Part of that email states: “IE8 Beta 1 is focused on the developer community, with the goal of gaining valuable feedback to improve Internet Explorer 8 during the development process. Participation in the Technical Beta will enable you to evaluate a common release of Windows Internet Explorer 8, the ability to submit feedback, post bug reports, download software answer surveys on product quality as well as vote on top bugs filed by others from the technical beta program”.

As Firefox 3 is already at beta 3 status, Microsoft could well be coming out with a public beta at the same time Firefox comes out with their release version, but if things go well Microsoft will surely look to release the final version of IE 8 sometime in 2008, and not beyond.

Developers wanting more information on coding sites to be IE 8 compatible can visit the MSDN IE blog, although serious developers most likely already know about this site and have been following progress happening there, especially after IE 7 changed the way developers were used to things happening in IE 6.

Cnet mentions that the upcoming Microsoft MIX 08 event in Las Vegas will have more information on IE 8.

So, what's something you can do to improve IE 7 now into a much better browser - without switching to Firefox or something else? Please read onto page 2.


Microsoft originally took several years to release IE 7, which some derided as a bit of a Firefox rip-off. That said, IE 7 isn't too bad, but to really rev it up, IE 7 users should take a look at the IE 7 Pro add-on. 

IE 7 Pro is a free software tool that gives IE 7 a number of features that should have been included as standard, such as session restore, re-opening an accidentally closed tab, the ability to stop pages from automatically refreshing, the ability to block ads and plenty more. It's free, and it's almost like having IE 7.5!

Other free browser alternatives, besides Firefox, include Opera and Maxthon, both worth checking out if you'd like to try a different, and some say much better view, of the world wide web.

Now, if only Microsoft could be convinced to write a much better version of Internet Explorer for the Windows Mobile platform, too...


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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