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Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate Opened to the Public

Microsoft made IE8 Release Candidate available for public download today in 25 languages for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server.

The US software giant says IE 8 is faster, easier to use and more secure than its competitors. The beta version of IE 8 was released last March and today the company has put out its first release candidate for the public. This is the last stage for the browser before it is finalised.

IE8 Release Candidate version is platform complete, which means that you should expect the final IE8 release to behave as the RC does.

Microsoft said that it had made reliability, performance, and compatibility improvements. To that end IE 8 offers performance upgrades to speed up page loading, new navigation features and tab isolation so that if you hit a bad site only that tab closes and not the whole browser.

WebSlices will give users a way to keep updated about a particular item on a web page like stock prices, the weather or an eBay auction.

Accelerators let users access Web services like maps or translations in a small window without having to leave the page.

In addition, IE8 RC offer 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. The company also made some changes to InPrivate based on feedback from its customers and partners.

Microsoft also made some changes to the user experience based on feedback. For example, based on data about how people use actually it, they made fitting more items on the Favorites bar easier. (Note that the IE8 Release Candidate is for Windows Vista, XP, and Server only; Windows 7 users will get an updated IE8 with the next update of Windows 7.

The complete overview of the features of Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer 8 is available here.

"IE8 focused on how people really use the web. Consumers want a browser that makes the tasks they do every day faster and easier," Microsoft wrote at the IEBlog. "The activities people spend their time on define real-world performance: navigating to websites, working with tabs, searching, keeping track of changing information (like traffic or an auction), and using the information from one site with another (as in getting a map). Everyone wants a trustworthy browser that keeps them in control and protects their safety. Developers want great developer tools, great interoperability, and a powerful platform that enables them innovate. For some people, accessibility is crucial; for some organizations, policy, administration, and deployment are essential."

IE8 RC 1 can be downloaded here. Before installing it, make sure you have read Microsoft's guidlines.

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