The release of Internet Explorer 8 RC1 is just around the corner and fortunately there is a significant number of people and organization that want to release their own customized version of IE8. Luckily Microsoft publishes a tool that can let you easily customize IE8. The tool is called the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) and its freely available. There are already quite a few blog posts about the tool itself so I don't want to rephrase all that if you are new to IEAK just go to the IEBlog and read the post by Jatinder Mann.

The current published version of the IEAK is the Beta 2 version that corresponds to the exact same version of IE8. So in order to prepare your customized IE8 package with RC1 bits for those that already have access to the IE8 builds > Beta2 there is no corresponding IEAK to those builds. However there is an easy workaround to use the Beta 2 IEAK with the newer bits. Just follow those 3 simple steps and you are done.

  1. Rename the IE8 RC1 setup executable to IE-REDIST.EXE
  2. Backup the original IE8 binaries used by the IEAK (usually in %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft IEAK8\Download\<Platform>\<Locale>\iebin\) and overwrite it with the newer file renamed in step 1. If you use IEAK for the first time the path and files may not exist so you need to start the IEAK wizard once and let it create the path and download the contents.
  3. Start and use the IEAK wizard as usual and create your customized IE8