The first public beta of Internet Explorer 8 is alive and kicking. Get IE8 Beta 1 right here on Softpedia. Well, you have been waiting for it for more than a year. Microsoft has successfully kept the lid closed on the work it was doing with Internet Explorer 8, more so than on the work poured into Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP3 and Windows Server 2008. After being dogfooded throughout 2007 over at Microsoft, IE8 first peeped outside of Redmond with the recent private Beta 1 testing program. Now, Microsoft is ready to open Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 to all Windows users.
"Welcome to Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, the latest test release of the most popular browser! This release contains some great advances in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and layout, programming model, performance, reliability, usability and service integration. We are eager to ensure that the transition to Internet Explorer 8 is seamless for you and your audience, and to give you a head start on using many of the new features with your sites and services. We encourage you to test your sites and services, and our platform implementation, and give us feedback," stated Chris Wilson, IE Platform Architect.
The fact of the matter is that Microsoft's official Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 public release webpage has went live ahead of the company's web-centric MIX08 conference in Las Vegas. During the opening keynote address at MIX08, Dean Hachamovitch, IE General Manager, will give an in-depth presentation of Internet Explorer 8.
"Internet Explorer 8 can be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)," reads a message posted on the IE8 Beta 1 download page. "Downloads are available" here:
Be advised, at the time of this article none of the links were functional. This situation will be remedied by Microsoft, but the company failed to reveal when this will happen.
UPDATE: I have contacted Microsoft and asked them when the links will be live. This is what a Microsoft spokesperson had to say: "I'm looking into this for you now. I will be in touch as soon as I have more information to share." But in the meantime, Dean Hachamovitch, IE General Manager, revealed that IE8 Beta 1 will drop immediately after the opening keynote address at MIX08 will be over.