Could Microsoft actually make a deadline...?
With Internet Explorer 8 promised to arrive in 2008, Microsoft has taken a huge step forward this week by announcing the first public beta of the new browser.
Predictably named 'Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1' (you were expecting more?), the browser won't be the radical (and much needed) overhaul seen between IE6 and IE7. Instead the primary difference will be 'Acid2' compatibility - in a nutshell: compliance with universal web standards so that everything on a web page looks and works as it should. This sounds obvious but, with designers constantly having to configure sites to work with multiple browsers, it isn't and should solve a vast array of programming problems and speed web page design. Firefox 3 will also pass Acid2 tests.
In addition to this, IE8 will also add ACR (automatic crash recovery) - saving your web pages in event of a crash - something most other browsers have had for years, expand its phishing filter (and rename it 'Safety Filter') to encompass malware threats and add a context sensitive right click menu (postcodes offer map searches, etc).
Grab it from the link below and for those obsessed with the minutiae check out the full release notes. Having tested out the beta myself, Firefox and Opera fans have nothing to fear, but IE users will get a little closer to knowing what it feels like to use a decent web browser...