Mink Machine

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1

Once again the MIX conference is being arranged at the Venetian in Las Vegas, just as last year. One of the most interesting announcements this far is the release of IE8 beta 1. Judging from the interstellar distance in time between IE6 and IE7, this is a big step forward.

First and foremost, it runs standards mode as default, which is kind of cool since they changed their mind about this issue only a few days ago.

The CSS implementation has received a bit of love and their goal seems to be to deliver support for CSS 2.1, as well as a few goodies from CSS 3.

It also has a Firebug-esque debug module, which is rather poor compared to Firebug but it could be worse.

A nice thing is that the pull-down menu is displayed as default, unlike the weird behavior of IE7 where you have to use the alt-key to show it. In the vanilla installation of IE7, a quick-link to Tools is visible in the upper right corner. If you press Alt, the menu becomes visible and another Tools menu appear! And that is not the end of the annoyance. If you continue to hold Alt, and click the quick-link Tools, it flashes briefly but does not work!

A coworker found some other errors, but it’s only a beta after all and the dev team says they’re not ready with the CSS 2.1 implementation.

This release arrived much sooner than I anticipated, and in combination with the already infamous “standards mode 180 turn” Microsoft might be on the right track for once. Maybe.

Another important implication of all this is a strong heads-up to the remaining IE6 users out there. Beware, your days are numbered.

Download it and try for yourself.

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