Feeds

Microsoft IE8 rolls out the astroturf

How to lose friends and alienate people

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft is hawking the near-ready version of its Internet Explorer 8 browser at its staff in a desperate attempt to snatch back some of Mozilla’s growing market share.

The company is asking its UK employees to take part in its very own astroturfing campaign by getting MS wonks to send out an email to at least ten soon to be ex-friends encouraging them to download the third beta of IE 8.

Microsoft flacks urged staff yesterday to pester their mates about the firm’s upcoming browser by requesting they send out what many will view as time-wasting spam.

The viral email starts off by suggesting that the sender of the message finds the world of computers, the interwebs and indeed life inside the Microsoft cage as simply irresistible.

"You know I work at Microsoft, and that I love technology," it reads. "Sometimes I love Microsoft technology so much that I can't wait to tell people about it, and this is one of those times. Microsoft has just released the Release Candidate 1 for Internet Explorer 8, and I think you should install it and use it today."

An El Reg reader contacted us after he received the email from a friend who works at Microsoft. "I guessed that it wasn't his handywork from the first few lines," he told us.

The third, and probably final, beta of IE 8 landed yesterday and includes a list of websites that Microsoft says actually work with its browser.

It comes loaded with two modes for viewing sites. The default mode supports the latest web standards such as CSS 2.1, to help satisfy EU regulators.

Meanwhile, its compatibility mode allows users to view the millions of sites and applications built back in the dark, US regulator-bothering days when older versions of Internet Explorer didn't comply with web standards. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.