Taking IE8 for a test drive. Beta time with a download link. ~ Ask The Admin

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Taking IE8 for a test drive. Beta time with a download link.

For all of those early adopters out there that are still into Microsoft...

Did I clear the room? Well for the two of you that are still left the Beta of Internet Explorer 8... Yes IE8 has arrived on the scene for you to help the big guys in Redmond troubleshoot and debug this first round beta. Unleash the bugs on your machine...

Here is the official IE8 download link and just an FYI I just upgraded my IE to 7 a weeks ago! But this new version looks to be promising! I hear rumors of FireFox-esque plugin's and a sub-sub-sub Rumor that you might be able to use some FireFox/Mozilla Plugins on the dark side! (But don't hold me to it. I will investigate and get back @ you!)

From the Internet Explore 8 Beta Page:

Over the last ten years, the intensity of web usage and people's reliance on the web has increased dramatically. The evolution of the web has introduced a new set of opportunities, immersive experiences, online services, and standards. Daily life without the web is simply hard for many people to imagine.

With this intensity and reliance, web developers and designers face an evolving set of needs including:

  • Interoperability and compatibility
  • Built-in tools that help both first time and experienced developers and designers get pages built right
  • Browser capabilities that enable innovative experiences

Internet Explorer 8 will take the web experience beyond the page and introduce a new way to seamlessly experience the best of the web, whether you are a web developer writing to standards or an end-user discovering a new online service.


Activities are contextual services that provide quick access to external services from any webpage. Activities typically involve one of two types of actions:

  • "Look up" information related to data in the current webpage
  • "Send" content from the current webpage to another application

Choice of layout engine

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 will ship in standards mode by default. However, three different rendering modes that may be set using the X-UA-Compatible header:

  • Quirks mode which supports Internet Explorer 5 and legacy browsers
  • Strict mode which supports Internet Explorer 7 and is accessed through the emulate Internet Explorer 7 button
  • Internet Explorer 8 standards mode

Cascading style sheets 2.1 compliance

The Internet Explorer 8 layout engine is built to be cascading style sheets 2.1 compliant, enabling web developers and designers to write their pages once and have them render properly across all cascading style sheets 2.1 compatible browsers. However, Microsoft is not finished—hence, Microsoft is seeking feedback from developers working with Internet Explorer 8 Developer Beta 1.

HTML improvements

Many cross-browser inconsistencies have been fixed in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, including:

  • Separate URL handing for attributes
  • The get/set/remove attribute implementations are now compatible with those of other browsers
  • Default attributes for HTML are supported so that they always exist on elements whether specified in the markup or not

Improved namespace support

Internet Explorer 8 simplifies the use of standards-compliant XML-based webpages that support namespace features like scalable vector graphics, XML user interface language, mathematical markup language, and others.

Platform performance improvements

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 improves performance in many Internet Explorer subsystems, such as the HTML parser, cascading style sheets rule processing, markup tree manipulation, the JScript parser, garbage collector runtime, and memory management. More performance work is planned for later beta releases.

Developer tools

Microsoft has heard your feedback that Internet Explorer needs its own built-in Developer Tools, so the new Developer Toolbar enables developers to quickly debug HTML, cascading style sheets, and JavaScript in a visual development environment that is included with the web browser. Developers can quickly identify and resolve issues because of the deep insight the tool provides into the Document Object Model. The Developer Toolbar also allows the layout to be changed on the fly so that each rendering scenario can be tested thoroughly.

Compatibility for existing sites

Internet Explorer 8 includes a more standards compatible layout engine by default which allows developers to build a single standards compatible website for multiple browsers. Internet Explorer 8 Developer Beta uses the Internet Explorer 8 standard mode layout engine by default. However, by clicking on the emulate Internet Explorer 7 button, users can choose when they use the strict mode which supports the Internet Explorer 7 compatible layout engine to retain compatibility with existing sites.

Improved security

Internet Explorer 8 will build upon Microsoft's security and privacy investments to address users' security concerns. In the months ahead, additional new protection, prevention, and privacy services will be added.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 includes:

  • Enhanced protection from deceptive websites: As part of an ongoing commitment to privacy and security, Microsoft is making enhancements to the phishing filter in Internet Explorer 8 to provide additional protection against evolving threats to the consumer. With the Safety Filter, Internet Explorer 8 will now protect against a broader set of online threats by analyzing the full URL string. The Safety Filter provides a more granular detection, and these prevention capabilities enable Microsoft to protect against more targeted and sophisticated attacks.
  • What Is Domain Highlighting? Domain Highlighting is a technology that highlights the top level domain in the address bar, allowing users to quickly confirm that the website they are visiting is the site they intended to visit. The domain name is in bold and black font, standing out from other characters in the URL which are gray.

Check back soon kiddies for a full report back of whats new and working in IE8!