Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is out. What does it mean to you as an IT Pro???

Like most IT pro you need to maintain the web farm for your company. Well I'm sorry to say you've got work to do...  Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 came out yesterday and you'll soon see it pop out on desktops out there in the wild. But we'll get to the work part later...  first the cool stuff...

Personally, I love it... It's fast, it has not died on me yet, (touch wood) and I can use some of the new features easily and I'm a HUGE fan of conviviality.  As an example, when renting ice for a games of pickup hockey, I often go to my local rink.

Well, the first time I tried the rendering was all wrong. So I clicked on the "Compatibility View" clip_image001[6] button and the rendering fixed itself and I was able to book ice.  Now to let the guys know where we were playing I highlighted the address on the main page, clicked the Accelerator button accelerator and selected "Map with Live Maps".  it gave me the map I needed to email my team.  no copying and pasting....   just 2 clicks...


I am even able to go to my online banking site and perform any operations without any issues.  (which was an unexpected surprise).

Following a friend's suggestion, I started looking for sites that may not render properly in IE8.  I tried CBC.CA, CANADA.GC.CA, of course I also tried TSN.CA and since hockey season is just around the corner, I just had to check out CANADIENS.COM....  Funny enough,  they all rendered properly without switching to the IE7 compatibility mode.

I did find a few examples of sites that did not render properly. such as but none so far that would not fix themselves just by switching to "Compatibility View".

However I did test some sites that did not work with Internet Explorer 7  and i found that they worked just fine under IE8.  This is the case for it does not render well in IE7 but looks great in IE8.  aaahhhh!!!  Web standards interoperability, what a wonderful thing....

IE8 vs IE7

Back to the work part....

In order to promote further interoperability across the Web, Internet Explorer 8 will display content in its most standards compliant way by default.  Browsing with this default setting may cause content written for previous versions of Internet Explorer to display differently than intended.  This is where your work starts.

This is where your work starts. In order to maintain backwards compatibility with Internet Explorer 7, we have provided a compatibility meta-tag usable on a per-page or per-site level.  Adding this tag instructs Internet Explorer 8 to display content like it did in Internet Explorer 7, without requiring any additional changes. For Step by Step Instructions for Meta Tag placement refer to .

We are encouraging site administrators to get their sites ready now for broad adoption of Internet Explorer 8. This will ensure your content will continue to display seamlessly in Internet Explorer 8.

Giving top priority to Web standards interoperability allows us to:

  • Help web developers and designers drive toward the ideal of “write once, run anywhere”, freeing up more time to innovate vs. modify content for different browsers.
  • Address several major development and design pain points from previous Internet Explorer releases.
  • Partner closely with Web standards working groups to be a key contributor in Web standards evolution.

For more information on IE8 and everything you need to knows as a site owner, please refer to or see one of the following resources.

  1. Rodney Buike's IE8: What an IT Pro Should Know post:
  2. Internet Explorer MSDN Compatibility Center:
  3. Internet Explorer 8 main site:
  4. Internet Explorer Team Blog:
  5. Internet Explorer Developer Center:
  6. "How to” videos (four currently available, another six to follow in coming weeks)
  7. High-level scenario videos showing how IE8 & partner apps can help with everyday situations (e.g., “Music & Entertainment”, “Staying Connected with your friends”, “Election 2008 Coverage” and  “Personal Finance”)
  8. Buzz viral videos, the ‘Critic’ and ‘History of Slicing’, can be viewed here
  9. Microsoft Interoperability Principles:
  10. Mary-Jo Foley on IE8 compatibility:

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is publicly available for download here.

IE8 Beta 2 is currently available in English, Simplified Chinese, German, and Japanese ... and will soon be followed by 21 additional languages to be available on September 16th

So...  Go to it.  get your sites ready.


Pierre Roman

Comments (9)

  1. Bob Robinson says:

    Big change (in a good way) from Beta 1 – the old Beta did not last more than 1 day before going back to IE7. Now, Beta 2 is FAST!

    I am using it on XP Pro SP3 and this Beta 2 has a very good chance at staying on this XP testing machine.

    Some Web Sites do need to be viewed in compatibility mode, but just selecting compatibility has allowed full normal viewing so far anayway. The button to select compatibility should be more visible for the non-tech end user to select. It seems to be hiding in the Tool Bar drop down menu.

    This is a very very very early comment, now on to finding the rest of the features.

    Thanks for the heads up and the resource links.


  2. Troy says:

    The button is in the address bar, right beside refresh and cancel.  Seems fairly intutitive to me.

    Loving IE8 so far, very snappy and the new features are very handy.

  3. Gis Bun says:

    Would you believe a CRN magazine web site [from a blogger on another site] is already complaining/comparing that IE8 uses up more resources than IE7 or Firefox3. The thing is still in beta. What do you expect?

  4. Ross says:

    I found the pro-standards comments in the posting absolutely lol-hilarious.  IE7’s semi-attempt at compliance was barely laudable.

    I really like that IE8 doesn’t make you wait 60 seconds for a new tab to "connect" to my blank start page.  What the heck is it connecting to anyway?

    Firefox is still faster (and imho much better) and Google’s new Chrome is light-years ahead.  Too bad IE carries around so much code bloat.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A short while ago, I meet with a friend  who is responsible for the management of a testing lab.

  6. Rodney Buike says:

    Hi Gis Bun,

    One reason it uses more resources is that the tabs are sandboxed as well.  Now not in the same way as Chrome, where each tab is it’s own process, but very much the same in the rest.  This should allow for much better stability and reduce the chance of a particular page/plugin/script running in one tab from brining down the browser.

    Rodney Buike

    IT Pro Advisor

  7. Rodney Buike says:

    Hey Ross,

    I’ll agree with you on two points, IE is a little bloated and that is the backwards compatability trade-off and pre-IE8 standards weren’t a priority.

    That said I fail to see where Chrome is light years ahead of IE8 or FF3.  Besides the great V8 JS engine, there isn’t anything new and you can be sure the FF and IE teams have been working on better JS support for a while.

    One thing I think we can all agree on is that competition is a good thing and this will no doubt have a positive impact on the development of future IE/FF/Opera/Safari/etc… releases.

    Rodney Buike

    IT Pro Advisor

  8. Rob Dloing says:

    You guys need to give the developers a break here.  Yeah IE8 uses a lot of resources and so does Chrome but they are beta man!  And yeah Chrome uses a lot of resources too.

    That said when your PC has 4GB of ram does it really matter if a program uses 300MB 😉

  9. Sean Kearney says:

    Ooooo! If IE8 Beta 2 is a speed boost I WILL have to dive in!  

    I had Beta 1.  I liked a lot of the newer UX with how it would automatically suggest things to do and where to go.  I DID find it a little piggy.

    Then again, Twhirl doesn’t seem to help either… 😉

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