Internet Explorer still dominates the world. Well, not as much as before, in fact much less than before. According to recent stats, 54.7% of Internet users use IE, compared to around 70% back in 2005. The real reason for this decline, which everyone is aware of, is the growing popularity of excellent alternatives like Firefox and Opera.
The latest version, IE 7, was released more than a year ago, on October 18 2006, about the same time as Firefox 2.0. And while there is a lot of hype and talk of all the new features that we’ll get to see in Firefox 3.0, Microsoft is much more quiet on IE8. The only real thing we do know about the new version is that it will fully pass the Acid2 test.
Much more about IE8 should hopefully be unveiled on March 5 at the MIX08 web conference in Las Vegas, where Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, Vice President of the .NET Developer Platform Scott Guthrie and Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch will hold a keynote on “Microsoft’s continued investment across the platform to deliver world class Web technologies and tools”. We also know that a Beta version of IE8 will be available for testing in the first half of this year, even though no precise date has yet been mentioned. According to ZDNet though, a private Beta is already being secretly distributed, and anybody curious enough can read the email invitation from Microsoft.
We’ll keep you posted on any new announcements about IE8 and get hold of the Beta as soon as possible to give it a test run.