Microsoft has been receiving a heap of criticism lately for their Internet Explorer web browser, and the Opera antitrust suit just added more fuel to the flames. People want to see Internet Explorer follow the standards that other web browsers have already complied with, and that will hopefully increase the number of sites that are compatible outside of the IE realm.
Despite being overly “hush hush” about the next version of Internet Explorer, the development team has decided to help put our weary hearts at ease by telling us that the current internal version of Internet Explorer 8 already passes the Acid 2 test. There are not many *released* browsers out there that can boast such an accomplishment: Safari, Konqueror, and Opera. Firefox 3, which is expected for release in the first half of 2008, also passes the test.
If you’re thinking that Microsoft did this purely because of the pressure put on by Opera I think you’re wrong. It would have been pretty difficult for them to slap together Acid 2 compliance in such a short period of time, and I would therefore have to believe they’ve been working on it for awhile. Although I do have a strong inkling that they only posted this information because of the antitrust suit.
Now the only problem is browser adoption. Even though Internet Explorer 8 is going to be mounds better when it comes to standards, it won’t mean a thing if users don’t download it. I’ve been rather disappointed at the rate at which IE 7’s market share is increasing, and it looks as though many users are content with IE 6. Hopefully we’ll see more people adopting the standards compliant browsers in the future.
Internet Explorer 8 is not expected to be shipped until 2009, but Microsoft has said that the first Beta should be rolling out in the first half of 2008. If you’re anxious to give the new browser a whirl keep an eye out because an early look could be just a few months away.