It wasn't that long ago that I downloaded and installed the newest version of Internet Explorer, IE 7. It took a little while for me to adjust to the changes, because once you're used to something, it's difficult training yourself to look in different places for the tools that you need. Needless to say, I was a little shocked this morning when I ran across a news story that discussed Microsoft's plans for IE 8, which is slated to be released in the next two years. Check out the story from CNET Networks' News.com: "Microsoft hints at general plan for IE 8."
IE architect Chris Wilson talked about the development priorities for IE 8 at Microsoft's Mix07 conference:
"Specifically, he said Microsoft will invest more in layout and adhering to the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 2.1 specifications. He also said Microsoft wants to make its browser object model more interoperable 'to make it easier to work with other browsers and allow more flexible programming patterns.' In addition, he said the Ajax Web programming style needs more client-side application programming interfaces to allow developers to create more powerful applications."
Here are a few other news sources that cover information about IE 8:
- Microsoft drops few clues about IE 8 (InfoWorld)
- 'IE8 compatible' - the cure for web standards headache? (The Register)
- What's Internet Explorer 8 all about? (silicon.com)
- Microsoft: Why the Silence about IE 8.0? (Windows IT Pro)
For network admins, I'm sure eyes are rolling at this news. For end users, new browsers are initially a mere inconvenience due to the learning curve. For the IT pros who have to help the end users, new browsers are a nightmare. Of course, TechRepublic sees the release of IE 8 as an opportunity to create and publish more content — tutorials, keyboard shortcuts, and image galleries — to make life easier for everyone using the new browser.
Will you be ready in the next two years to embrace IE 8, or do you think you'll still be working out the kinks in IE 7? If you've sworn off IE entirely, which browser do you prefer? Join the discussion.
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Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.