If you want to thank someone over at Microsoft over the breaking of the deafening silence that surrounded Internet Explorer 8 throughout 2007, that man is Chairman Bill Gates. At the beginning of December, Gates approached the subject of IE8 during a Mix-n-Mash event held at the Microsoft campus. The company's co-founder was apparently not aware of the secrecy veil covering IE8 and said that he would take up the matter with IE General Manager, Dean Hachamovitch. Immediately after the event, Hachamovitch came out and officially confirmed one aspect that was general knowledge, that the successor of IE7 was indeed IE8.
On December 12th, and then on December 19th, Microsoft hit two important milestones. First of all, the latest build of Internet Explorer 8 was successful in passing the "Acid2 Face" standards test and, secondly, the company opened up a little on IE8. In an interview given over at Channel 9, Hachamovitch explained the silence that orbited IE8 for the past year, as the product was being developed. And it seems that the IE team displays with IE8 the same syndromes as the Windows division with the next versions and updates for the operating system, courtesy of Steven codename Translucency Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group.
"Well there's been a bunch of things since IE7 released. Windows Vista for one. Since Windows Vista there's been a lot of servicing, and securing, there's been Vista SP1, but most of all there's been Internet Explorer 8. A lot of work on IE8. And last week we hit an exciting milestone, that really concerns web developers. We should just be clear that IE8 is a strong release. There are a lot of things for a lot of people. I mean, there are a lot of things for end users, for web service providers, for developers for IT professionals. And there are a lot of things that we aren't going to be talking about right now, [with the exception] of the dev stuff", Hachamovitch stated.
With a beta due by mid 2008, and additional details promised for early March of the next year, Hachamovitch added that Microsoft will only talk about IE8 when theit browser will gain concrete contours. "For IE8, we want to communicate facts, not aspirations", he explained. According to Hachamovitch, Microsoft opening up to web developers is a move catalyzed by the fact that the level of standards and interoperability implementation in the code, as of the December internal build of IE8, will make it in the final version of the product. As far as the future of IE8 is concerned, expect nothing more than "definitive information" and "responsible disclosure" that will only set a manageable level of expectations. At this point in time, Microsoft expects IE8 to hit in late 2008, early 2009.