Feeds

Microsoft's IE 8 beta adds 'special' list

Tells you what works

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft has issued a third Internet Explorer 8 beta that includes a list of compatible websites for users less than "web savvy".

The IE 8 Release Candidate is the third pre-release version of Microsoft's browser but the first to include a list of web sites that Microsoft says actually work with its browser.

The Compatibility View List was announced last month by Microsoft after it found users testing the second beta had been unable to view websites without IE 8 scrambling them.

IE 8 introduces two modes for viewing sites: default and compatibility. Default supports the latest web standards, like CSS 2.1. Compatibility is designed to let you view the millions of sites and applications built for old versions of IE that were not compliant with web standards.

The idea was that a button would let users flip over to viewing such sites, but many forgot to make the switch, resulting in scrambled sites. Even sites supposed to work in default mode were getting scrambled.

Microsoft then introduced the idea of the Compatibility View List, which is supposed to tell the browser when it's viewing a site that's not been updated to support IE 8.

The list is composed and edited entirely by Microsoft, based on its reading of telemetry data and information from product support channels, the company said in December.

The company has justified the list saying this approach is used by Opera. That's possibly not a good argument, given that Opera's browser market share varies between less than one per cent and less than three per cent, depending on whose numbers you count.

The real competition Microsoft's facing in browsers is from Mozilla's Firefox and - possibly - Google's Chrome, which has grown fast in the four months since its release.

IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch encouraged website and application developers to test their sites and services with the RC. Hachamovitch's team made a similar appeal when they blogged about the new list last month.

Hachamovitch asked people to make "any changes necessary" to their software and to let Microsoft know about their experiences. He couched this with his familiar caveat that Microsoft would only make "selective" changes to the release candidate and act only on "critical" feedback.

He defined critical to include security, backwards compatibility, robustness, and completeness with respect to planned standards work.

You can view the full list of IE 8 RC features here, complete with what's been added since the second beta, and you can download the beta here.

The RC is only for Windows XP and Windows Vista, with a version for Windows 7 - currently in beta - due with the next update to the planned operating system. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.