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
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
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
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.