internet explorer 8 crane Microsoft has started to send out emails to select individuals indicating that Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 is right around the corner. The email is targeted to people whom they would like to receive feedback from before they open the doors to the general public, and no specific date for the IE8 Beta release has been given.

Activewin has posted the full email that was sent out to people, but this is the only part that really matters to me:

We are nearing the launch of Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and we will be making it available for the general public to download and test. IE8 Beta 1 is focused on the developer community, with the goal of gaining valuable feedback to improve Internet Explorer 8 during the development process.

We don’t really know what to expect from IE8 other than the fact that it will pass the Acid 2 test when running in the Super Standards Mode. The Beta version will also let users switch the user agent of the browser between IE8 and IE7 for compatibility reasons, and you won’t have to restart Internet Explorer each time you change it.

The real question is whether Microsoft can do enough in Internet Explorer 8 to prevent more users from flocking to other browsers. Personally if Internet Explorer 8 is well developed I would consider switching to it, but Microsoft would really have to impress me with features and performance. I know a lot of you have the minds set on the fact that you’ll never switch back to Internet Explorer, but I like to always keep an open mind.

The guy who runs the Internet Explorer team is going to walk through some of the features in Internet Explorer 8 at MIX08 this year, which is held on March 5th to March 7th. This seems like a good point for Microsoft to release IE8 Beta since all eyes will be on the conference, but we’ll keep you posted if an official release date emerges.

[via All About Microsoft]