Microsoft Mute on IE8's Evolution

Microsoft is consistent down to perfection in avoiding to reveal any details related to the evolution of Internet Explorer 8. The successor of IE7, which debuted into its first public testing phase at the start of March at MIX08, is built under the leadership of Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group. In this context, the translucency strategy for product development, which is Sinofsky's tactic for gaging all details about upcoming products, affects not only Windows operating systems and the Windows Live platform, but also Internet Explorer, specifically IE8.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 has been available for download as a release focused on web content developers and designers since March 5, 2008. Following the launch of the first beta, Microsoft indicated repeatedly that there would be additional testing milestones for the next iteration of IE. At the same time, IE8 Beta 2 was promised for the summer of this year, a version tailored to end users this time, rather than on developers.

Questions about the upcoming Beta for IE8, as well as for the final version of the browser have become nothing short of a refrain for the IE team. And so have Microsoft's answers. During April's Windows Internet Explorer 8 Expert Zone Chat, Eric Lawrence, IE Security Program Manager, explained that a date for the delivery of IE8 Beta 2 was not set in stone.

"Beta-2 will be available later this year. Sorry, I don't have a precise date available," Lawrence stated, adding that the same is valid for the general availability of the browser. "We haven't announced a release date thus far. We're all working hard and very eager to ship a great browser as soon as we can."

Little has changed between April and May as far as details on the next stages in the development of IE8 are concerned. Answering a question about the next build of the browser, a member of the IE feedback and release team had this to say: "We'll have another Beta sometime later this year. Thank you for using Beta 1!"

In addition, John Hrvatin, program manager for developer tools and script engine integration revealed that "IE8 Beta 1 was developer-focused, but we've been listening to input on how to improve the overall browser's appearance and customization that we'll incorporate in future releases." Lawrence emphasized that Microsoft is yet to announce the complete feature set of IE8, and that future releases will build on top of IE8 Beta 1.



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