Microsoft will be releasing the latest beta build of Internet Explorer 8 for everyone to download during the MIX conference 2008 which will be held at Las Vegas. There are also a number of security improvements to IE8 and it should be interesting to download the first builds to get a flavour of IE8. The release date of IE8 is not yet known, but its expected to be out sometime before SP2 for Vista. IE8 also contains a lot of different modes of operations due to compatibility starting on March 5th. Internet Explorer 8 has been under heavy development and Microsoft seems all set to bring improvements to its ill-famed browser. Microsoft developers have been talking a lot about all the development around IE8 in the team's blog.
IE8 also passed the ACID test for web browser standard compliance and hence will be the first version of Internet Explorer which is standards complaintreason with previous versions. Since previous versions of IE weren't standards complaint, a number of changes have been made in IE8 to make it adhere to the standards. This may result in breaking sites which already work well with older versions of IE. This is primarily the reason why the IE8 team wants web developers to start testing IE8 and hence is releasing early beta builds to the public.
Internet Explorer 8 is an important release for Microsoft because it has received stiff competition for the first time in terms of the number of web users from other browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari. IE still holds the highest number of users for a web browser, but the people who dislike IE has grown quite a bit in the past few years. Firefox has also matured into a real competition for IE and for the first time has crossed more than 25% of web users. Microsoft wants Internet Explorer to be back with a bang in IE8, a product which Microsoft had forgotten after IE6.