Microsoft has been working on its next version of Internet Explorer for a while now but the question is does anyone really care now? Firefox 2.0 and 3.0 have a combined market share of around 30 percent with IE6 and IE7 holding around 60 percent. Various other browsers make up the rest.
The problem with Internet Explorer is compared to other browsers it is slow, dirt slow. IE6 wasn’t exactly known for its speed and it had more security holes than Swiss cheese. IE7 managed to add tabbed browsing and moderately better security which Firefox had possessed for years. Microsoft’s offering was still slow.
Redmond claims Internet Explorer 8 will bring much improved speed and security to the table but once again will not have the best standard compliant browser on the market. Opera may be the most standard compliant browser on the market but just about every website I’ve visited in Opera has a section that is totally broken. Standard compliant is nice but you also have to make developers do the same, otherwise it’s purely academic.
The Internet Explorer 8 betas have proven to be faster than its predecessors but manage to break quite a few Web sites. That’s to be expected of a beta but knowing Microsoft this won’t improve much. This may be why IE8 has been equipped with an “emulate IE7” option. It works but requires the browser to reboot. I think a better option would be to have it open a new IE8 window with the mode enabled.
No one expects Microsoft to give up on its browser but sometimes it just begs the question why does the company bother?
Firefox has taken a good share of the market from IE and now with Google Chrome on the scene which offers tons better speed and security, will anyone care when IE8 is released? It would be my hope that they don’t but then there are still people using IE6. And I thought IE6 died off a long time ago.
According to Cnet, Microsoft plans to release IE8 in 2009 with a release candidate in the first quarter and the final version at some point later in the year.