Mumin Blog

Microsoft unveils Internet Explorer 8

It took many years from IE6 to IE7, but this browser is still quite new and Microsoft is already releasing a first beta version of IE8. MS unveiled the beta version of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) for developers at the annual MIX08 conference in Las Vegas. The beta version of IE8 includes better predictability when designing sites, full support for cascading style sheet (CSS) 2.1 at release to manufacturing, and integrated developer tools to quickly debug HTML, CSS and scripts in a visual environment, Microsoft said. “A lot of the end user or consumer features are not featured on this build because it really is targeted at the developers and the designers,” Matthew Lepsen from the Microsoft IE development team, said on a video produced by Microsoft’s Channel 9 site. While the consumer version of IE8 will differ somewhat from this first beta, it will not be a dramatic change, Lepsen said. The software giant again stressed the browser’s interoperability. Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will make IE8 standards compliant.
The browser will render the Acid2 browser test correctly, and fully supports CSS 2.1, Microsoft said. In an apparent coincidence, the Web Standards Group announced the release of the next-generation Acid3 test on Wednesday. The beta will also include two new features, dubbed Activities and WebSlices. Activities is intended to provide quick access to services from any Web site, Microsoft said. Once downloaded through the IE8 service guide, users can look up or send certain information from the Web. Those on a restaurant Web site, for example, can click within the page to get maps, look up news on the restaurant, blog about it, or share on Facebook. Activities will also feature partnerships with companies like eBay and Stumbleupon, which eBay acquired in May. Highlight something on a Web site, right click it, and see if that item is available on eBay without ever leaving the original Web site, Lepsen said. It will be interesting too see a final release, which will probably appear at the almost same time as Firefox 3.0.

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