IE8 is set for broad release in the third calendar quarter, which means real soon now. There are several features for you. Most important is standards compatibility. You may see misaligned Web pages, overlapping text or images, JavaScript functionality and errors. The default mode for displaying pages in Internet Explorer 8  is "Standards mode."

To fix this issue, Web site owners and administrators can add a meta-tag that tells Internet Explorer 8 to display an entire site or a specific page like Internet Explorer 7. That is, the meta-tag causes Internet Explorer to render pages in either Internet Explorer 7 Standards (Strict) mode or in Internet Explorer 5 (Quirks) mode, based on the Doctype element declaration.

So you add one line of code to your Web site or page. For more information about the symptoms and details, see Your Web site may not display correctly in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1. For more information about compatibility, see Internet Explorer Compatibility.

But there's also features for you to incorporate into your Web sites.

  • Add ons: There are changes in security and architecture that could affect the way your site or add-ons function in Internet Explorer 8: user agent changes, accessibility improvements, non-admin and per-site ActiveX, Loosely-Coupled IE, DEP/NX memory protection and Manage Add-ons.
  • New features: Activities, WebSlices, improvements in CSS support, innovations in AJAX functionality, improvements in DOM L2 Core support, and integrated Developer Tools.
  • Test tools: Debugging user agent string changes, CSS Test Pages, Developer Toolbar, Expression Web, Visual Studio Developer Express, Fiddler, Process Monitor, Process Explorer, and RSS Feeds Validatior.

For more information, see Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit