Feeds

Microsoft's IE 8 beta adds 'special' list

Tells you what works

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.