The MIX 2008 conference is this week and Microsoft is showing off some of their latest tools. One of these is the much anticipated and discussed Internet Explorer 8 browser. It’s important to remember that this is still a beta 1 release and is much better than the IE7 beta 1. This one actually has significant changes.
Download Internet Explorer 8
You can download Internet Explorer 8, Beta 1 from the Microsoft Developer site. However, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- This installation takes some time, about 15 minutes, and will require a restart of your computer.
- It will replace your existing Internet Explorer and is not available as a stand-alone browser.
- It renders in standards-mode as a default. You’ll see a button to render in IE7 mode. This is helpful to see the changes between the versions.
- Many sites will have significant layout issues in the standard view. You may need to re-evaluate your conditional comments to specify IE7 instead of greater than IE6
- IE8 is ignoring the * hack! This means you can use the underscore hack for IE6, the * hack for IE6 and IE7 and … um… I don’t know yet for IE8.
Is IE8 better than IE7?
- Internet Explorer 8 passes the Acid2 Test.
- It understands CSS attribute selectors and generated content.
IE8 handles my international test page fine.
- It understands :hover on non-links but is still buggy. Here’s a good test page with multiple CSS3 styles.
- It seems to have more integration with social platforms, maps, etc. Perhaps this is a nod towards Flock?
It’s still really early to find all of the bugs and benefits of the new browser. The team needs to be commended for the fast development and their willingness to listen to criticism and change the default behavior at such a late point. I look forward to the more mature releases.