Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Final Available for Download
Article by George Norman
On 19 Mar 2009
It is official, the development process of Internet Explorer 8 has come to an end and Microsoft is ready to make the feature rich IE8 Final available for download to users all over the world. This is good news, but it is not exactly something we weren’t already expecting – a few days ago Microsoft Taiwan already told the world that IE8 Final will go live right about now.

As of March 19, at 12:00 EDT, anyone that wants to get IE8 Final will be able to get it directly from Microsoft. The web browser comes with support for a total of 25 languages (Arabic, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified and Hong Kong), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish), so make sure you get the version that suits you best.

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In terms of functionality, with Internet explorer Microsoft has focused on three key areas. CEO with Microsoft, Steve Ballmer explains: “Customers have made clear what they want in a Web browser — safety, speed and greater ease of use. With Internet Explorer 8, we are delivering a browser that gets people to the information they need, fast, and provides protection that no other browser can match.”

In terms of browsing speed, it must be said that Microsoft recently conducted an experiment in its own labs, which went something like this: they took IE8, Firefox 3.0.5 and Chrome 1.0 and got the three browsers to load the 25 most popular pages on the web. According to the results Microsoft presented, IE8 is faster than the competition – details here.

Even if the results are accurate (and many say IE could never be faster than Chrome for example), it doesn’t really matter. Firefox 3.0.5 is old news even by 3.0 standards, not to mention that the Mozilla team has already released Firefox 3.1 Beta 3, pretty soon will move on to Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 (Firefox 3.1 was re-branded as Firefox 3.5) and in a couple of months or so we might even see Firefox 3.5 Final. The same goes for Chrome – Google has already released Chrome 2.0 Beta, which is 35% faster than Chrome 1.0; and at th fast pace they're moving, Chrome 2.0 Final is not too far away. IE8 is the latest and fastest browser to come from Microsoft, but the competition is gearing up to end the development process on their latest browsers as well. We'll jsut have to see how IE8 fares then.

Getting back to Internet Explorer, the browser has more to offer: customizable, multiple home pages; Accelerators; Web Slices; visual search suggestions; InPrivate Browsing; Compatibility view.

If you would like to get Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft will make it available for download here.



Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE 8
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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