Internet Explorer 8 To Be Released At Noon EDT Today (March 19)

Last year at MIX08 Microsoft Unveiled Internet Explorer 8 beta 1. After releasing beta 2 and a Release Candidate, at this year’s MIX, IE8’s final release will be announced (Keynote).

“Customers have made clear what they want in a Web browser — safety, speed and greater ease of use,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “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 response to extensive customer research and input from tens of millions of customer sessions, Microsoft developed Internet Explorer 8 to focus on what matters most to people. The security enhancements offer protection against existing and emerging security threats online. It blocks two to four times more malware attacks than other browsers (a study released today by NSS Labs ); cuts down on the time it takes to complete common tasks on the Web such as searching, mapping and sharing, including navigating 15 of the 20 top worldwide sites; and blurs the lines between the services they use daily and the browser used to access the Internet.

Features include the following: 

– Accelerators. Accelerators make it faster and easier to perform common tasks online by making Web-based services such as ESPN.com, Live Search and Sina available for use directly from the page people are viewing. Users can simply right-click a word or phrase and instantly map, e-mail, or share it. 

– Web Slices. Web Slices in Internet Explorer 8 makes favorite information from sites such as Digg, Yahoo! Mail, OneRiot, and eBay instantly available wherever someone goes on the Web. 

– Visual search suggestions. The Instant Search Box in Internet Explorer 8 enables rich, real-time search from sites such as The New York Times, Amazon.com and Wikipedia, as well as sites from people’s own Favorites and History, complete with visuals and detailed information that saves time.

Microsoft is making IE8 available, at noon EDT (UTC-4) on March 19, for Windows XP and Windows Vista. There will also be a version for Windows 7 but that won’t be available until the next Windows 7 version comes out. It will also be automatically offered via the Windows Update system over the next few months.

Unlike its competitors, IE8 won’t be available in a Macintosh version, but according to Walter S. Mossberg (All Things Digital) it works fine on a Mac that is running Windows alongside the Mac’s own operating system.

Internet Explorer 8 will be available in 25 languages, including 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.

More information and a download of Internet Explorer 8 (as of noon EDT on March 19) can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8.

Want to know what time it is where you are when IE8 gets released? Have a look here!

PressPass – Microsoft Announces Availability of Internet Explorer 8
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