The next iteration of Microsoft's proprietary browser is close to finalization. The first Release Candidate (RC1) Build of Internet Explorer 8 is now available for download
. Following the Beta 2 and the Partner Build releases at the end of 2008, IE8 RC1 is designed to integrate with both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows Vista RTM and Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows XP SP3 and earlier, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft released IE8 RC1 in no less than 25 localized variants.
With this launch, the Redmond company has indicated that Internet Explorer 8
is Platform Complete. This means that there will be no more changes between the Release Candidate and the RTW (Release to Web) builds of the browser. Microsoft will only continue to soften the rough edges of Internet Explorer 8 before the browser goes gold.
“The technical community should expect the final IE8 release to behave as the Release Candidate does. The IE8 product is effectively complete and done. We’ll [discuss] separately about the thousands of additional test cases we’re contributing to the W3C. We've listened very carefully to feedback from the betas. With the Release Candidate, we’re listening carefully for critical issues,” Dean Hachamovitch
, IE general manager, explains.
At the same time, Hachamovitch points out that the RC1 Build of IE8 brings to the table a new level of reliability, performance, and compatibility, while also kicking security up a notch. “We’ve studied the telemetry feedback about the browser's underlying quality and addressed many issues,” the IE GM states. “We’ve worked closely with people in the security community to enable consumer-ready clickjacking protection. Sites can now protect themselves and their users from clickjacking attacks 'out of the box,' without impacting compatibility or requiring browser add-ons. We also made some changes to InPrivate, based on feedback from customers and partners.”
It is important to note that Internet Explorer 8 RC1 will not install on the pre-release versions of Windows 7. This because Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) and post Beta (pre-RC, Builds 70XX) come with a Beta, respectively Release Candidate version of IE8 as a default component.
Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is available for download here