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Microsoft Internet Explorer The Internet

Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 RC1 319

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-little-too-late dept.
mikemuch writes "IE8 has left beta as of noon Pacific time today. The development team now considers the browser platform- and feature-complete, but won't say how long until it goes gold. PCMag.com got an early look and has posted a full review of Internet Explorer 8 RC1. The release candidate differs only slightly from Beta 2, most notably in tweaks to its InPrivate Browsing feature, aka porn mode. That feature has been decoupled with InPrivate Filtering, which blocks third-party content providers from creating profile of your browsing habits. RC1 also improves on performance, especially in startup time, but still trails Firefox and Chrome in JavaScript speed. Protection against the relatively new threat of 'clickjacking,' where a site tries to get you to press buttons underneath a sham frame page, has also been added — the first browser to include such protections. Versions for 32-bit and 64-bit Vista, as well as for 32-bit XP are available, but Windows 7, which will ship with IE8, is stuck with an older beta for now."
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Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 RC1

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday January 26, 2009 @04:53PM (#26613569)

    They can keep all their little incremental security and interface updates. What use are a few little tweaks in IE8, when Firefox offers me add-ons like adblock plus, noscript, slashdotter, etc.? Besides, I can always open a site with IE Tab if I need to.

    Firefox is even nice enough to spell check my form entries for me (it caught me misspelling "incremental" just now).

    • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:24PM (#26614089) Homepage Journal

      If it weren't for Chrome and IE8's privacy mode, then that probably wouldn't be the top priority it is right now for Firefox 3.1. Competition is good in the browser market. They'd still be on IE6 if it weren't for the success of Firefox.

      • by peragrin (659227) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:35PM (#26614283)

        and that my friend should be the whole point. MSFT basically stopped all browser development for 5 years. Then Firefox came along and showed people that you could have a free browser that could do more than IE(Opera wasn't free but adware). MSFT lost marketshare and then started to fight back.

        MFT is and always has been reactionary to change. If their products are good enough they don't get improved upon. If MSFT only had 60% marketshare I would be happy. as MSFT would be forced to fight to keep customers by improving software.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday January 26, 2009 @06:37PM (#26615065) Journal

          MFT is and always has been reactionary to change. If their products are good enough they don't get improved upon. If MSFT only had 60% marketshare I would be happy. as MSFT would be forced to fight to keep customers by improving software.

          It doesn't even have to be 60%. It has to be whatever it takes for the majority of Web developers to move from IE-only policy to cross-browser policy. Judging by the look of the Web these days, with even Microsoft itself having to support at least Firefox and Safari apart from IE (check the official browser support tables for various MS web-base products!), the present 20% Firefox market share is already enough to trigger that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ozphx (1061292)

          As a Microsoft shareholder I'm glad they weren't pissing my money up a tree trying to improve products in markets they already dominated. Now FF is giving them some competition, I'm also glad they are getting their shit together to preserve the IE line (in the eyes of Joe Public, rather than developers on ten bucks an hour having butthurt over standards).

      • by mgblst (80109)

        This is one of the many reasons we hate Microsoft - this is to the few Microsoft lovers here who aren't paid shills.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Thinboy00 (1190815)

      IE is NOT the first browser to implement anti-clickjacking tech. Firefox + NoScript has had a non-obtrusive (read:it works with the "globally allow scripts [etc]" option enabled) clickjacking blocker known as ClearClick [noscript.net] for quite a while [noscript.net] now [hackademix.net]. It is inaccurate to compare vanilla Firefox with other browsers since Mozilla intended Fx to be used with addons. NoScript is a perfect example.

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        And yet, at the same time, it's inaccurate to compare features that are enabled on a default installation of IE with an add-on enhanced Firefox, since very few add-ons make it to the majority of Firefox installations. I have a variety of add-ons installed, for instance, but don't have ClearClick.

        The models may be different enough that completely fair comparisons can't be made.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      They can keep all their little incremental security and interface updates. What use are a few little tweaks in IE8, when Firefox offers me add-ons like adblock plus, noscript, slashdotter, etc.?

      There are IE plugins [ieaddons.com], too, including ad blockers (just search).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        I did a search and couldn't find any ad blockers. Can anyone provide a direct link?
  • Clickjacking (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrYak (748999) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:03PM (#26613709) Homepage

    Protection against the relatively new threat of 'clickjacking,' where a site tries to get you to press buttons underneath a sham frame page, has also been added â" the first browser to include such protections.

    No, not the first. Maybe the first to be shipped with the functionality turned on by default.

    It's just that, with FireFox, anything that isn't related to bare simple display of HTML pages, is usually tucked into separate plugins.
    But the Noscript [noscript.net] plugin has featured click-jacking prevention almost from the next day after click-jacking came in the news.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EvanED (569694)

      No, not the first. Maybe the first to be shipped with the functionality turned on by default.

      It's more than "turned on by default"; that suggests there's a checkbox somewhere that is just off. The support isn't even installed by default.

      Noscript may have deserved mention in the summary, but there is a difference between "including such protections" and "has such protections available in an add-on", and the difference is much more than between "including such protections turned on by default" and "including

    • It's just that, with FireFox, anything that isn't related to bare simple display of HTML pages, is usually tucked into separate plugins.

      Firefox includes all sorts of "security" stuff turned on by default, some of it both pointless and really annoying, like the click-4-times annoyance when you want to visit any https site that doesn't have its SSL certificate signed by one of the worthless central authorities. Some of it is also useful, like popup blocking. "Clickjacking" prevention seems like it'd go in the

  • Standards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:04PM (#26613723) Homepage
    I don't really care about their tabs, 'Awesome Address and Search Bars,' privacy or really anything else while they still only score 20 on the Acid3 Web standards test. IE has historically been such a pain in the ass for the entire world because of poor adherence to standards. The article says Microsoft takes standards seriously but the test says otherwise.
    • Re:Standards (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sporkinum (655143) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:28PM (#26614137)

      Pretty funny.. I ran it on firefox (which I can't update due to IS) and got 71, Opera (which I can't update due to IS) 85. IE Version 7.0.5730.11 (which IS may or may not update) and it was unintelligble (couldn't even see score), and IE 6 in Citrix which got an 11.

      • by pablomme (1270790)

        I ran it on firefox (which I can't update due to IS) and got 71

        Interestingly, I get 70/100 with AdBlock disabled, and 71/100 if I turn it on. I'm a bit puzzled.. does anyone get the same behaviour?

    • by heffrey (229704) on Monday January 26, 2009 @06:20PM (#26614847)

      None of the browsers I have tried pass the Acid 3 test so I have given up using the internet. There's really no point if you can't get Acid 3 to go to 100/100.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Phroon (820247)
        You jest, but WebKit [webkit.org] is at 100/100 on Acid3 and passes the smooth animation requirement as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Phroggy (441)

      I don't really care about their tabs, 'Awesome Address and Search Bars,' privacy or really anything else while they still only score 20 on the Acid3 Web standards test. IE has historically been such a pain in the ass for the entire world because of poor adherence to standards. The article says Microsoft takes standards seriously but the test says otherwise.

      They're working on it; they haven't gotten there yet. IE8 does not pass Acid3, but neither do the current shipping versions of Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Chrome. Most of these should pass Acid3 in their next major release, but Firefox won't pass Acid3 for awhile (probably not until 4.0).

      IE8 does pass Acid2, which represents a major improvement in standards-compliance and compatibility over previous versions of IE.

      Nobody's saying IE8 is a better browser than Firefox. If you're already running Firefox, tha

    • Acid3 covers some standards which aren't even final yet, such as CSS3. Meanwhile, IE8 does pass Acid2, which indicates correct implementation of HTML4 & CSS2 - which is quite sufficient for true cross-browser development without resorting to browser detection hacks.

      • by Bogtha (906264)

        Acid3 covers some standards which aren't even final yet, such as CSS3.

        This is highly misleading.

        The criteria for the Acid3 tests included the requirement that they be justifiable using only specifications that were in the Candidate Recommendation stage or better in 2004. Weblog article from the author of the test here [hixie.ch]. Candidate Recommendation stage is the point at which browsers should be implementing the specifications. You can't get to full Recommendation status until two or more browsers have i

  • by bitcastle (934210) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:07PM (#26613785) Homepage
    Yeah the obligatory complaint about those 30% or so that keep using 6 (according to my stats). Maybe with 8 out 7 will become the 6.
    • I WISH I could use IE7. I am stuck in a tabless world with IE6. One day I went to the Windows Update site and downloaded IE7 and installed it on my work computer. Several weeks later someone dropped by my desk and asked that I uninstall it. Lame. From what I hear in CAB meetings though, we should be getting it soon (maybe before summer).
  • I need stability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skomes (868255) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:09PM (#26613829)
    I still use Opera + IE6. Why IE6? Stability. These damn browsers never give up the memory they've taken, although chrome does a better job because it actually runs each tab in a seperate process. With IE6 I open a window, browse youtube, close site, and the memory is returned. I use Opera with javascript turned off, a low overhead browser that will save all my pages if a crash occurs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You have no idea the IE6 memory leaks that our team dev deals with on a daily basis. It's pure madness. Nevermind the hell it takes to get a page to render proper. Once IE6 marketshare drops to insignificant proportions, you will start seeing its ugly face surface since devs won't be catering to its craptacular bugs. I'm sure you are already seeing the results of its drunken css renderer.

      It's funny ... I used to be a diehard Mozilla supporter from .70 days. These days, I can't go a day without wantin
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm seeing IE6 usage near 20% these days (I'm in the UK btw), and once it gets below 10% (9.99% will be enough for me!) then I'll be making less effort to accommodate it in new web sites. It'll take me *considerably* less time to develop web sites when I don't need to worry about IE6.... so I'm looking forward to that day! :D

      Oh... and my point was that you'll probably find IE6 is less supported on many websites over the next year or two.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:12PM (#26613873)
    I was about to install it when I noticed: Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 and Visual Studio .NET (version 7.0 from 2002) are currently incompatible. If you install Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, Visual Studio .NET will crash. No workaround is currently available. Yeah, I kind of need .NET 1.1 to work for some parts of my job.
  • I wonder if the put the option to make favorites available when offline back in IE? It's not in IE 7 anymore. It was actually kinda useful for traversing and downloading webpages to store offline for use while traveling. Though I must say HTTrack [httrack.com] does a fine job of it.
  • by elashish14 (1302231) <profcalc4 @ g m ail.com> on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:31PM (#26614195)
    IE shipping with a feature before FF has it ( private browsing mode).

    Well that's something you don't see every day.
    • by Matthieu Araman (823) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:55PM (#26614561)

      humm, both IE8 and Firefox 3.1 will include a private browsing feature but neither have "shipped".
      But you're right that IE included it before in a beta and that increased the priority on the firefox people...
      Time will say which of these version ship the first (in a non beta, non rc mode)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sootman (158191)

      Well, Firefox can't always take the lead. But Safari had private browsing years ago. :-)

      Wikipedia: "Version 2.0 of Safari was released on April 29, 2005... includes a built-in RSS and Atom reader. Other features include Private Browsing..."

      Funny. They even have a link to 'porn mode' which has a handy table showing which browsers had it when. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porn_mode [wikipedia.org]

  • by Onymous Coward (97719) on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:34PM (#26614259) Homepage

    There may be a number of good technical and use-oriented reasons not to bother with IE8. I don't know the details on it just yet. But it could be twice as good as the next browser and I still wouldn't use it. Not after what Microsoft did to us all with earlier versions. The standards compliance problems have been infuriating for developers. How much human effort has been wasted trying to cope with this? And the vulnerabilities have made popular computing a diseased seething mass. How many geeks have had to spend evenings or whole weekends taking care friends and family members' systems?

    All of that and Microsoft let IE rot for how many years? Half a freakin' decade in the midst of humanity's glorious ascension into a networked era? It took competition forcefully wedging its way into IE's monopolistic stranglehold before Microsoft got off their asses to do anything.

    Well, it's too late. Fuck off.

    I'm no battered wife. I know that MS isn't "really a good husband, he just..." whatever. I'd rather other people not drag me into another round of this same neglected-until-it-matters-to-Microsoft bullshit. The fewer people who use IE, the better.

  • IE8 has left beta as of noon Pacific time today.

    Doesn't this sound like some wartime political report or something? "Leaving beta" as if it's an actual physical act of moving somewhere else?

    "President Truman boarded the naval vessel at 2PM local time, and departed on his return voyage to the US from the island archipelago."

  • I notice one of the features listed is the ability to prevent third parties from tracking your web browsing habits, which would presumably mean "anyone other than the owner". Since Microsoft believe in retaining ownership of the software and licensing it to you, do they consider themselves a third party? Or is this just a convenient little "block the competition, while leaving a loophole for us"?

  • XP professional x64 edition is supported using the same version as server 2003 x64.

    There don't seem to be any downloads for any version of windows on itanium though.

  • From the article:

    Internet Explorer looks ready to give Firefox 3 a real run for its money.

  • Issue One: IE8 RC1, when in standards mode, no longer reserves space for the vertical scrollbar if it isn't needed by the current content, rather like Firefox. Unlike Firefox, the '-moz-scrollbars-vertical', IE8 wants 'overflow-y: scroll;' in the body portion of the CSS. The problem: IE6 and IE7 both react ... badly to that, by putting a *second* vertical scrollbar to the left of the main one, but which only spans from the top of the canvas to the bottom of the content (not the bottom of the canvas)

  • by Gordo_1 (256312) on Monday January 26, 2009 @07:54PM (#26615873)

    I was curious to see what they'd done since the last beta, so I installed it this morning. I had to reboot not once, but twice (once to uninstall IE8 beta2 and again I'm guessing so that it could hook into some OS files that were in use.)

    After restarting the second time, it popped up some shenanigans about some add-ons not being enabled and some being out-of-date and not working. Huh? There's apparently two dozen different plugins and "helpers" installed, including 3 java widgits, a slew of Adobe stuff, and a whole lotta live.com and other MS cruft. Hmmm... Gotta admit, I have no idea what half this stuff does and I'm in Computer Security. Can you imagine the average user figuring out which one of these is the rogue add-on responsible for stealing their credit cards and redirecting their search queries to a click fraud site? Firefox's extension system is a breath of fresh air compared to this.

    IE8 beta2 scored a pitiful 21/100 on acid3, RC1 now scores 20/100. Apparently acid3 is not yet a development target for MS. Seeing as their answer to web developers wanting more freedom to be creative is to "do it in Silverlight", it doesn't surprise that MS is dragging their feet here. I honestly wonder if half the stuff acid3 tests for will ever see the light of day in a top 500 website. I suspect FFx + Chrome + Safari + Opera and others will need to achieve greater than 50% market share before MS gets serious about SVG and company.

    I find it amusing that IE8 gives users control over rendering like "older browsers" for incompatible websites (read: websites that were designed to work under the standards-ignorant IE6).

    On the plus side:
    - as for most modern browsers, it seems to render most of the top websites reasonably well.
    - it has some privacy thingamajig which allows you to manually disallow sites one by one from storing cookies on your system (or at least that's how I interpretted the vague MS description)

    Yeah, but I eventually had to close it when I realized how insanely annoying the web is without AdBlock Plus.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday January 26, 2009 @08:22PM (#26616097) Homepage Journal

    as a web developer, im still having to deal with IE6 to ensure cross browser compatibility, and a little lost on the versioning now. how many shitface versions of ie out there that i have to test for x browser compatibility as of now ? 3 ? 5 ? 234,643 ? will it ever end ?

  • Standards? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049)
    "WebSlices give you an easy way to access frequently updated Web data, such as eBay listings or sections of a news-site page. When you hover the mouse over a content area on a page that supports this IE feature (...)"

    Uh... And of course that's not something that completely goes in the opposite direction of standards, right? Making YET another thingy that only works in IE and requires specific code?

    I guess I'll be waiting for IE10 before remotely thinking about the possibility of eventually using it ver

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