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The first release candidate for Internet Explorer 8 has been released to the web. You can download it from Internet Explorer 8: Worldwide sites. The release candidate adds protection against malicious Web attacks and tweaks to a feature that lets users browse the Internet privately. Reviewers are reporting improvements in speed and reliability.
Here are some of the features I wanted to call out. For more information about the list of features that are part of Internet Explorer 8, see Windows Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 Fact Sheet. You can get more information for developers at Internet Explorer Developer Center and for an overview of the new features for developers at Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit.
Several features have been enhanced for Web developers:
Web developers should use this version to check your sites for compatibility and to take advantage of features:
Internet Explorer 8 protects against clickjacking. Clickjacking is where a hackers could a transparent filter on sites so they can view what information a user is accessing and what activities that user is doing. The security feature allows Web-site content owners to put a tag in a page header that will help detect and prevent clickjacking.
Developer Tools are built into Internet Explorer 8. For a walkthrough of the features, see Referencing the Developer Tools Interface Commands.
You can learn more at the How Do I Take Advantage of New Features in Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit.
A new feature added to Internet Explorer 8 is called InPrivate. InPrivate helps to protect users’ data and privacy from being retained locally on the PC they are using and by third parties that might be in a position to track their online activities. New in RC1 is the ability to use either of the features (InPrivate Blocking or InPrivate Filtering) independently. InPrivate has two settings:
InPrivate Filtering lets users set a threshold for how many times third-party content appears on sites they are browsing. IUsers can then view information on how those third-party content owners are collecting information about browsing habits. That threshold can be set between three times and 30 times.
Improvement for the release candidate, the Smart Address Bar has been reorganized to more efficiently match what a user types in the Address Bar with titles in the history as well as content in their favorites without duplicates
Some Web sites that are designed for older browsers may not display correctly in Internet Explorer 8, which by default renders content in the most standards-compliant way possible. Internet Explorer 8 has a Compatibility View button that displays those pages as they were designed to be viewed, providing people with an easy way to fix display problems such as out-of-place menus, images and text. As a developer, you can insure your site works as expected:
To insure your site is compatible:
In addition, compatibility with Internet Explorer 7 has been enhanced in the release candidate. Users of Internet Explorer 8 can choose to receive a list of major sites that are best viewed in Compatibility View. When navigating to a site on the list, Internet Explorer 8 will automatically display the site in Compatibility View without requiring the user to press the Compatibility View button.
For more information about the features, see Internet Explorer 8 Fact Sheet. For information about upgrading from the beta version, see Upgrading to Internet Explorer Release Candidate on the IE team blog. You can provide feedback too.
For more information about how to incoporate key features into your products, see How Do I Take Advantage of the New Features in Internet Explorer 8 for a good overiew. In addition: