Hi All,

Today Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Windows Internet Explorer 8, the new Web browser that offers the best solution for how people use the Web today. It can be downloaded in 25 languages at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8. Internet Explorer 8 is easier to use, faster and offers leading-edge security features in direct response to people’s increasing concerns about online safety.

Internet Explorer 8 takes the web experience beyond the page and introduces 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 integrated into the browser – all with the peace of mind that you are using the safest, most compatible, and reliable browser.  We’ve also taken steps to deliver the fastest version of Internet Explorer available, making it easy to launch quickly, find what you want efficiently, and navigate seamlessly. 

Consistent with our efforts to promote further interoperability across the Web, Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 to render content in its most standards-compliant way by default.  Giving top priority to Web standards interoperability allows us to help web developers and designers drive toward the ideal of “write once, run anywhere”, freeing up more time to innovate rather than modify content for different browsers.  This commitment also addresses several development and design pain points from previous Internet Explorer releases.

  • Get where you want to go faster with real world performance. The core activity in the browser is navigating to a website. IE8 makes that faster and easier with its new address bar, new tab experience, favorites bar, and history in search box. IE8 is faster than IE7, and favorable to today’s other browsers on today’s common sites. Script benchmarks measure script; overall browser performance involves many different factors. Looking at a slow motion video of today’s common web sites in the latest browsers, IE is often the fastest at real world sites. Unlike some other browsers, IE isolates misbehaving sites so that only that tab, not the entire browser, crashes.
  • Use more of the web, easier. With IE8, people can get what they want out of web pages, often with just one-click, in the flow of their regular browsing. Webslices make it easy to stay up to date on the latest information from a web page (like weather, traffic, or status updates). Accelerators make it easy to act on the current page (mapping, sending, sharing, etc.) using another web service without the tedious work of “copy, new tab, navigate, paste.” Visual search results and Quick Pick make it easy to get the search results users want from the search services users choose.
  • Stay safer from real world threats: IE8 has built-in protections to keep users safe from real threats. These defenses are easy to understand and use, from highlighting the current site’s domain in the address bar to the clear indicator when IE is browsing “InPrivate.” IE provides protection from today’s dangers, like malicious software downloads, as well as tomorrow’s, like cross-site scripting attacks.

Build on real world interoperability, standards, and compatibility. IE8 shows Microsoft’s commitment to an open and interoperable web. IE8 by default shows web pages in its most standards compliant mode. With IE8, we’re delivering the most complete and correct implementation of CSS 2.1 available in any browser.  To improve interoperability not just for IE but for all browsers, we’ve contributed over 7,000 test cases to the W3C (and taken feedback along the way).  This will make it easier for the people who build the web to develop with standards. We’ve started delivering on HTML5. We’ve also made the specifications for webslices, accelerators, and visual search available to the community (under the appropriate open licenses) for a more open, interoperable, and rich web. IE creates great opportunities for developers and sites to integrate themselves into their users workflow and make their experience stand out.

Download

Internet Explorer 8 is available for download in 25 languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified and Hong Kong), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. More information and a download of Internet Explorer 8 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8.

Resources

Internet Explorer 7 Compatibility Tag

In order to maintain backwards compatibility with Internet Explorer 7, we have provided a compatibility meta-tag usable on a per-page or per-site level. Adding this tag instructs Internet Explorer 8 to display content like it did in Internet Explorer 7, without requiring any additional changes. Get step-by-step instructions for using this meta-tag on your site.

Internet Explorer 8 Document Compatibility

Internet Explorer 8 introduces the concept of document compatibility, which lets you specify the versions of Internet Explorer that your site is designed to support. Learn more in this overview.

CSS Compatibility and Internet Explorer

This article provides an at-a-glance look at CSS compliance across recent versions of Internet Explorer, including support in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and planned support in the final version of Internet Explorer 8.

User-Agent String and Version Vector

Learn the best practices for browser detection to ensure that your site continues to operate as intended when viewed in Internet Explorer 8.

Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit - testing your websites!

Take a few minutes to learn more about what's new with Internet Explorer 8. This site will help you discover the changes to Internet Explorer and help you find your favourite features.

Windows 7 beta users

Windows 7 Beta already includes a pre-release candidate version of Internet Explorer 8 that is optimized for that release. Windows 7 enables unique features and functionality in Internet Explorer 8 including Windows Touch and Jump Lists which require additional product tests to ensure we are providing the best Windows experience for our customers. We will continue to update the version of Internet Explorer 8 running on Windows 7 as the development cycles of Windows 7 progress and plan to include the final version of Internet Explorer 8 in the release candidate version of Windows 7 later this year. For the latest information on Windows 7, visit the Windows 7 site.

Nick