Feeds

Microsoft's IE 8 beta adds 'special' list

Tells you what works

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?