Microsoft Ships Internet Explorer 8 Browser

Microsoft will release its Internet Explorer 8 browser for download on March 19. Security, ease of use, and improvements in RSS, Cascading Style Sheets and AJAX support are key priorities for Internet Explorer 8, according to Microsoft.

LAS VEGAS-Microsoft will release its Internet Explorer 8 browser for download on March 19.

Microsoft officials at the company's MIX09 conference here said IE 8 will become available for download from the Internet Explorer 8 Website at 9 a.m. PDT on March 19. The timing of the release is to coincide with a keynote to be delivered by Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft, who will formally announce the technology's release to the Web.

In an interview with eWEEK at the MIX09 event here, Mike Nash, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows product management, told eWEEK that Microsoft also is announcing that there are more than 500 new add-ons for IE 8 in the way of accelerators, Web slices and visual search.

"This means there is a tremendous number of opportunities for developers to differentiate a Website or to do various things with it," Nash said.

Accelerators are a form of selection-based search that enables a user to invoke an online service from any other page using only the mouse. According to Microsoft, Accelerators eliminate the need to copy and paste content between Web pages. IE 8 specifies an X M L-based encoding that enables a Web application or Web service to be invoked as an Accelerator service. Web Slices are snippets of an entire page that a user can subscribe to. Web Slices will be kept updated by the browser automatically and can be viewed directly from the browser's Favorites bar, complete with graphics and visuals.

For images of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8, click here.

Microsoft said security, ease of use, and improvements in RSS, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L) support are key priorities for Internet Explorer 8.

IE 8 also features the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 8. Nash said IEAK "allows an enterprise to configure the browser to meet the company's default settings."

IEAK enables enterprises to configure or customize their browser settings to give users access to specific intranet and Internet applications, and ensure that all browsers have the same functionality and make support easier. According to Microsoft, IEAK allows developers to deploy customized packages and manage IE settings post deployment.