Internet Explorer 8 released

After some two years of development, Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 Final, wanting to get their hands back on the market percents lost to other browsers in the recent years. The strategy is adding some new functions and reinventing the existing IE functionality.

Internet Explorer 8 has been released for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista. For Windows 7 beta users, here is what IE team says:

Windows 7 beta includes a pre-RC version of IE8 that is specifically optimized for Windows 7. Windows 7 enables unique features and functionality in Internet Explorer 8 including Windows Touch and Jump Lists which require additional product tests to ensure we are providing the best Windows experience for our customers. We will continue to update the version of Internet Explorer 8 running on Windows 7 as the development cycles of Windows 7 progress.

Maybe the biggest news is that Microsoft is trying to submit to current web standards as much as possible. In the beginning, a special standards mode should was likely to be added, but this mode has been set as default mode after some critics. This is how the IE team wants to make sure that Web users see all sites in IE8 the same way they see them in other browsers.

The new functions in Internet Explorer 8 have been added to ease the online lifes of the users. Especially the ways needed to get information have been shortened. Besides some exclusive functions that other browsers don’t offer up to now, Microsoft is also putting focus on adopting and developing ideas that have helped e.g. Firefox to gain its current popularity.

The most important changes include the reworked and extended Internet Explorer 8 address bar as well as the new functions “Web Slices” and “Accelerators”.

Can Microsoft place IE against the growing competition with their try to make Internet Explorer fit for the future?