IE8 comes out of Beta

Microsoft has on Thursday confirmed that its Internet Explorer browser is now officially out of beta and available for download from 4pm (GMT).

The new browser, which sees virtually no change since the RC1 client, released earlier in the year, will be available for all Windows Vista and XP users, however not for those who've downloaded the Windows 7 Beta.

"Windows 7 users won't be getting the update", John Curran Microsoft's Windows Business group lead in the UK told Pocket-lint.

The move, which is no doubt likely to frustrate those who have updated to the new operating system from Microsoft, is to allow the company to continue testing the OS rather than introduce new elements to it at this stage, however Curran has informed us that Windows 7 will get the IE8 browser when it eventually does launch.

Curran has ruled out IE8 appearing on the Mac OS X operating system:

"Our focus is on the Windows platform", said Curran. "It reaches 1.2billion people which is enough for now", suggesting that the small percentage of users using Macs aren't really worth going after at the moment.

The new browser promises a number of new features including a built in find bar to match Firefox and Safari as well something Microsoft is calling "Accelerators" that allow you to request searches directly from elements within the page.

It also promises to be as fast as, rather than faster than the competition:

"We are now equal with Chrome and Firefox. In the past we have been slower".

The new browser is available to download for free from Microsoft.


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