IE8: What’s After Beta 2

The announcement of IE8 Beta 2 started an important and public phase of the product development cycle getting broad public feedback. The team is providing detailed information and answering questions about the product in many different places. Now’s a good time to talk about what comes next.

Since the release of Beta 2, the team has been absorbed in the data we get from real people about the product. We have combed through instrumentation of over 20 million IE sessions and hundreds of hours of usability lab sessions. Together with IE MVPs, we have scrutinized thousands of threads from user forums and examined the issues that people are raising (not to mention all the times users opt to “Report a Webpage Problem…”). We have also spent hundreds of hours listening and answering questions in meetings with partners and other important organizations. We simply could not deliver IE8 the way our customers and developers want us to without all this information. We also received a lot of feedback about how we transitioned from the IE7 beta releases to the IE7 final release, and as a result, we want to be clear about the plan for IE8.

We will release one more public update of IE8 in the first quarter of 2009, and then follow that up with the final release. Our next public release of IE (typically called a “release candidate”) indicates the end of the beta period. We want the technical community of people and organizations interested in web browsers to take this update as a strong signal that IE8 is effectively complete and done. They should expect the final product to behave as this update does. We want them to test their sites and services with IE8, make any changes they feel are necessary for the best possible customer experience using IE8, and report any critical issues (e.g., issues impacting robustness, security, backwards compatibility, or completeness with respect to planned standards work). Our plan is to deliver the final product after listening for feedback about critical issues.

We will be very selective about what changes we make between the next update and final release. We will act on the most critical issues. We will be super clear about product changes we make between the update and the final release.

The call to action now for the technical community is to download beta 2 (if you haven’t already) and let us know about your experience. Next, please prepare for final testing with public update so you can let us know – quickly, loudly, and clearly – if you find absolutely critical issues with it before the release of the final product.

Thanks –

Dean Hachamovitch
General Manager, Internet Explorer

P.S. If you’re a developer, or service provider, or IT professional, how do you prepare for the final release of new software? Leave a comment – we’d like to know.

Comments (293)

  1. steve_web says:

    Ok, I’m on board, glad to finally hear the plan. Thanks for the honesty.

    Now, between IE8 Beta 2, and the RC you plan to release in Q1,2009 what bugs have been fixed?  Has IE Feedback on Connect been updated to include all the internal fixes?

    In particular I have 3 questions:

    1.) Has the window.resize event firing been fixed?

    2.) Has the z-index -ms-opacity issue been fixed? (broke in Beta 2)

    3.) Has the XP theme regression bug on select lists been fixed?


  2. Stan says:

    I kinda think that performance should be addressed (in addition to the memory leaks that are occasionally found).

    The multiple-tab-different-processes gets messy sometimes, and the javascript engine is falling behind. (Seriously, please do something about this; Firefox and Chrome are having a drag race on this one !!)

    Though, I must admit, bug fixes for the features that will push IE8 is necessary.

    (But, personally, I’m a performance kinda person, so I think that should be worked on a lot.)

    So, any timeframe? Minimum requirements? Anything on the *Canvas* element or Acid3 or HTML5 😉 ? (The smiley is for that I probably know that its not gonna happen.)

  3. Chase Seibert says:

    Javascript performance in beta2 is pretty good; much better than IE7. What really needs work performance wise is the DOM rendering speed.

    In beta2, inserting a lot of content into an existing DOM with complex layout/CSS (aka the primary Ajax use case) can freeze the browser for 4-5 seconds. Firefox/Safari/Chrome are much better at this.

  4. Chris says:

    Before deploying a final product, we verify compatibility with current service offerings, notify staff about the upcoming change, and establish a date and notify staff of that date.

  5. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Chase Seibert: We’d love to get the URL of a test case so we can take a look.

    @Stan: We’ve done a bunch of performance work post-beta2.  As Chase noted, the script engine is often not the performance bottleneck.  To build a faster app, you want to focus on the bottlenecks.  The post outlines a timeframe (Q1 for RC).  IE8 does not include the canvas element.  IE8 does include several HTML5 features (as discussed on the blog previously).  The HTML5 spec is still under construction, and we focused our energies on the more stable areas that offer the greatest value for web developers (e.g. postMessage, DOM Storage).

  6. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Chase Seibert: We’d love to get the URL of a test case so we can take a look.

    @Stan: We’ve done a bunch of performance work post-beta2.  As Chase noted, the script engine is often not the performance bottleneck.  To build a faster app, you want to focus on the bottlenecks.  The post outlines a timeframe (Q1 for RC).  IE8 does not include the canvas element.  IE8 does include several HTML5 features (as discussed on the blog previously).  The HTML5 spec is still under construction, and we focused our energies on the more stable areas that offer the greatest value for web developers (e.g. postMessage, DOM Storage).

  7. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    …And to those of you who are wondering, yes, we’ve filed a bug on the case where sometimes hitting Enter in a web form text box immediately after switching windows results in the "Submit" button being triggered (hence, the double entry above).  🙂

  8. IE8 beta2 is still far from a stable product.

    1. Switching tabs is extremely slow.

    2. IE will crash very frequently, when I am typing Chinese in gmail.

    3. The JS engine is extremely slow. Especially by running google applications.

  9. NM says:

    – The spec is 10 year old

    – All other browsers handle it

    – IE does XML and HTML, why not xml+html?

    And what about SVG?

  10. concerned says:

    What kind of time frame is between the RC, and the RTM (even presuming that the RC is absolutely perfect!) This is important because we are all waiting to know what fixes are going into the RC (that’s why we were expecting a Beta 3).  I’m not making any code changes to handle IE8 until that RC/(Beta 3) comes out because of all the issues still broken in IE8 Beta 2.

    I don’t want to spend any time making workarounds for something you plan to fix in IE8 RC (if you had an up to date public bug tracking database I would know, but we’ve seen that that path ends in big disappointment)

    As for critical bugs that need fixes for the RC, add these to the list please.

    1. Page Zoom performance in IE8 is an Epic Fail

    2. SVG Loading in IE8 (w/Adobe SVG plugin) performance is an Epic Fail

    3. HTMLSelect/HTMLOption element modification via CSS or JS is an Epic Fail

    4. UI Customizability in IE8 is still an Epic Fail

    I hope the time between RC and RTM is at LEAST 3 WEEKS so that we have time to sync up with whatever you actually plan to ship.


  11. Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer, has posted today on the IEBlog about what’s

  12. quirky bugs in IE 8 beta 2 says:

    Quirk 1:

    1) open IE8 to about:tabs

    2) click the "Start InPrivate…" link to open an in private session

    3) resize this window, so that only the "abo" of about:inprivate is displayed in the address bar

    4) close the inprivate session (we just did this to set the default window size)

    5) RE-click the "Start InPrivate…" link to open an in private session

    6) Expand the window… note the address is no longer "about:inprivate", but is now just "InPrivate"

    7) click in the address bar and scroll back to the left and the "about:" portion re-reveals itself

    Quirk 2:

    When you resize an inprivate window to very small, (reduce the addressbar to about 14px) and note that the favicon overlaps the addressbar, even though it should be "inside" the addressbar box

    Quirk 3:

    resizing the window frame is painfully slow if the page is zoomed in

    Quirk 4:

    Compatibility view icon and "go" arrow icon disappear when address bar is shrunk down to almost nothing

    Quirk 5:

    shrink an IE8 window to quite small, then hover over menu items.  the statusbar text overflows the zoom text in the statusbar

  13. Kellie [MSFT] says:

    @steve_web: Thanks for your help in filing bugs. The connect site will be updated with all of the bug fixes, and current status on the issues when the RC build is released. Kellie

  14. Ted says:

    NM, don’t you ever wonder why the HTML5 spec project was begun?  XHTML is a failed spec. There’s no point in wasting time on it.

    quirky, I really hope the IE team has better things to do than make the browser pretty when you shrink it to a tiny-weeny size.

    concerned, feedback that contains the text "Epic Fail" is an "Epic fail."  You need to provide reproducible test cases in order to add value.  Blaming the IE team for the Adobe team’s unsupported plugin seems like a significant waste of breath.

    stanleyxu, try running without plugins.  Use the -extoff command line switch.  Be sure you have the latest version of Flash installed too.

  15. Howie says:

    "Reopen Last Browsing Session" does not work for me.  It is always grayed out from within the menu selection and does not appear upon opening IE8 b2 as a selection from the first new tab that is opened.  This makes it a non-starter for me.  It is a shame as the feature worked fine (opening active tabs the next time IE is started- or whatever the wording) with IE7.

  16. Microsoft hat sich vor der Veröffentlichung einer Beta-Version des kommenden Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) nun doch (einigermaßen überraschend) dazu entschlossen, die ggü. IE6 und IE7 standardkompatiblere Darstellung von Webinhalten standardmäßig zu verwende

  17. axelriet says:

    Yes but…

    Why keep the status bar visible in kiosk mode?

    Why reverting to "old tabs" in the Favorites panes?

    Why resizing the (docked) favorites pane causes the entire pane to flicker badly?

    Why the return of the menu and favorites bars by default?

    Why remove IE7’s "Add to favorites" button (move, actually, but to the wrong place)? A showstopper as far as I’m concerned.

    Why do you still waste vertical screen estate with a window caption? If you include the default toolbars, the whole "header" is more than 150 pixels high, you could just as well replace the whole thing with a ribbon UI perhaps?

    Why so little contrast in the new address bar, the dimmed parts of the URL are barely readable – light gray on white, does this meet accessibility standards?

    Why still a half-dozen unlabelled little areas on the status bar?

    Besides those small quirks and those mentioned above about the performance in some areas, it looks good 🙂

  18. Damian shaw says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]

    Hi, here’s a rather quirky way of benchmarking specific DOM performance:

    WARNING: If in an IE Browser I would NOT click the ‘Full Render’ as the browser will freeze up for a very long time and use an excessive amount of memory. Just do the Basic Render to compare it to other browsers.

    I did this test on full render a couple of months back but the results should still hold true on my computer. My computer has an AMD 3800+ X2 with 2 GB DDR 400MHz RAM:

    Chrome – 29.69 seconds

    Opera 9.6RC – 31.609 seconds

    Safari 3.1.2 – 38.734 seconds

    Firefox Nightly- 537.907 seconds

    IE8 Beta 2 – CRASH – Pass 84/120 – 2269.468 seconds

    Also Memory had increased to over 900 MB by the 84th Pass for IE8 Beta 2, note that each pass was taking longer than the previous pass, so IE8 would have probably taken 2-3 hours to pass the whole thing had it not crashed.

    I understand it’s very very specific and a performance gain here will hardly show up in the same magnitude on normal sites. But I still think it’s something worth a quick look at 🙂

  19. Hammad says:

    I’ve been using beta 2 for sometime now and here is what I’ve to say.

    1. JS Engine needs performance improvement. IE 8’s JS Engine is much better than IE 7’s though.

    2. Switching between tabs is sometimes very slow.

    3. For some reason Vista’s DEP feature kills iexplore.exe when exiting the browser. I have no idea why, but because of this the performance monitor’s index has fallen to below 2.

    4. Please let the favourites bar to expand vertically (that is to support multiple lines). Now I have to go through the small arrow button (>>) and look for feeds!

    You guys have done a great job in beta 2. Hope to see much improved and bug fixed IE 8 soon!

  20. J. King says:

    Ted, please note that HTML5 is designed to be compatible with an XML syntax (i.e., XHTML) as well as a specific HTML syntax.  While you’ll probably get less argument that XHTML2 is a failure, XHTML itself (HTML in an XML form) does have appeal in a number of applications.  Most of them are not on the Web, though, for various reasons obvious and not.

  21. Disk4mat says:


    Basic render in 2.543 seconds.

    Full render in 37.768 seconds.

    IE8 B2 on Vista x86 Business Ed. 4 GB Ram Intel DC 2.20 ghz, NVidia 8500 GT (512 MB)

  22. jose says:

    @Ted, please use your full handle when posting. "Ted – The Epic Fail" is much easier to decipher than "Ted".

    yes, XHTML is a failed spec.  Wonder why? did like one of the major browser mfgr’s not get on board?… oh wait, never mind.

    you can complain that quirky is being picky, fine, but he/she is highlighting that the UI is not polished or fully tested.

    concerned mentioned things that were worrisome and quite frankly I agree with every statement they made.

    You Love Microsoft, and that’s cool, but the rest of us want a reliable stable browser to code against, and ATM, that IS NOT IE8B2!

    As for SVG, supporting the adobe plugin wouldn’t be an issue if IE supported SVG right out of the box.  IE7 supported the plugin just fine without issue. IE8 should be a tenfold downgrade in performance when using the exact same plugin, in fact, it should run even better.

    As for comments containing the phrase Epic Fail? yeah, you think they don’t belong, but according to the rules of this blog we can’t use the words that REALLY describe our feelings towards this non-standards browser.

    Thus all we can do is indicate in plain language how utterly broken various aspects of IE really are.

    Thus "Epic Fail" seems very appropriate.

    Thanks again for your trolling Ted – The Epic Fail, you never fail to show your incredibly biased view of web browser development and a total lack of understanding standards and where the web is trying to progress to.

    Please troll on a forum where users actually want to hear your FUD.

  23. Thales says:

    SVG would be a nice feature to get into IE8, thus i think that is already late for IE8 roadmap. Real shame…

  24. Richard Fink says:

    Thanks for the timeline Dean.

    We now know where we stand. Roughly, at least!

  25. Nick says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add a download manager, this is something a lot of people have asked for, for years! And still it doesn’t reach you guys, why isn’t this feature in already? What is the reason, it would be nice to hear from Microsoft why they haven’t done this yet.

    Now it is pretty annoying that you have to start multiple IE’s to download multiple large files or otherwise you can’t download them at once as 1 IE only supports 4 concurrent downloads.

  26. James S. says:

    I work for a fortune 50 company.  With hundreds of internal-facing web applications and somewhat fewer external-facing web applications, we will probably only take immediate action to fix any incompatibilities in the external-facing we bapplications.  For the internal apps, they would not be fixed until a project can be allocated in the next fiscal year.  It could be 2010 before everything is compatibility-tested — there’s just far too much out there to do a full regression test without diverting resources on other mission-critical projects.  For internal apps where we control the deployment of IE to desktops, it is hard to justify spending money on all the testing and fixing of all those applications until it’s absolutely necessary.

    Also critical to consider is the testing on embedded browser controls in desktop and mobile-deployed fat clients.

    In any case, while all new development is standards-compliant, there is a major issue with all the old legacy code out there.  But that’s how software development goes…

  27. mynetx says:

    Most wanted features:

    – Download manager

    – Customizable (skinnable?) GUI

    – Support for CSS "opacity" so proprietary filters wouldn’t be needed

    – More speed! Just compare a default IE with Firefox, Safari or Chrome. What will you see? #1 IE takes much longer to start up, even with Superfetch in Vista. #2 Open a new, empty tab. Again: much slower. #3-#99 Left out.

    Nevertheless IE has improved hugely from IE6 over IE7 to IE8 – but that does not mean that there wasn’t much left to do to be on the same level as the other browsers.

  28. Dave says:

    I vote for *FULL* CSS 2 compliance.  Make the web designer’s job easier PLEASE!

    Also how about Microsoft paying for all IE6 users to be flogged in the town square…??!?

  29. Olivier says:

    "We listen", "we are listening", "we’ve heard you", and others stupid marketing sentences…

    You’ve just heard nobody. Where’s beta3 ? Beta2 was unusable and crashed all the time, so we can’t test it. Please give us a testable beta before a release candidate.

    @Nick : forget the download manager, they haven’t listened to us. For IE7, they said they will consider the download manager for a future release, now they say the same for IE8. We’ll see in IE9… or IE10…

    @Thales : about SVG, you can get the same answer as Nick…

  30. Jagannath says:

    I am not sure if this is specific to my network connection. IE 8 most of times gives "Bad Gateway Error" on my XP machine. On my home PC I have Vista installed and IE 8 works fine. I have no problems with it at all.

  31. Mitch 74 says:

    If pseudo-elements and generated content is fixed in RC, I’ll be happy; if reflow problems (reset all scrollings, PNG images disappear on DOM modification) are solved, I’ll be glad.

    As for SVG support, I’ll simply put a link: "can’t see this image in high resolution? Use a modern browser." using the ‘object’ fallback method.

    IE is slow? That’s what multi-Gigahertz quad cores are for: rendering web pages faster, so stop complaining.

  32. sebastien says:

    We really really really need a download manager. Everybody wants it. It’s the most important missing feature. I’m sure Microsoft can implement it in 1 in 2 weeks… So why is it still missing?

  33. ajo says:

    @ Damian

    Full run finished in 67,8 seconds on Lenovo Thinkpad T2300.

    980Mhz, 1GB RAM…

    So there might be something wrong with your computer / browser…

  34. syb says:


    What’s so important about a download manager? If you need to resume downloads, just click on the same download link. The download will resume where you left off if possible.

  35. Catto says:

    Hey Now Dean,

    I love IE8 beta 2. One thing that I would really like to see is a hotkey to open multiple tabs. If a user goes to the favorite cetner (alt+c) then arrows down to the folder (ctrl+enter) should open the sites in the folder but I’ve had no success in IE7 or IE8. When you are in the favorite center then hover over the folder with the mouse then on the right of the folder there is a little blue arrow. If this arrow is clicked (no hotkey w/ mouse I mean) then the group of tabs open good. That is a small thing but it is something I think of often.

    thx 4 the info,


  36. AccessDenied says:

    Besides the usual feature requests, I would like to point out that I’ve noticed IE8B2 becoming unstable on quite a few occassions (hang/crash). It is very important that the stability is improved for the final product release. I’ll gladly accept a few feature cuts if this results in improved stability.

  37. Damian Shaw says:


    @ajo (also are you sure you did the Full Render for that test? And it did all 120 passes)

    Are you sure that the result rendered correctly and computation finished? The basic render looks like a pixlelated version of the full render which is a purply sphere.

    I ran the test again on this computer and after 15 mins of running it was clear I was getting the same kind of performance results.

    So I went and installed a fresh copy of IE8 on a different computer (AMD 64 single core 2.4GHz, 2 GB DDR2 667MHz). As of pass 66 (still running I’ll post the final result later) it’s currently taken 448015ms

    Both computers run other performance benchmarks as expected, they are kept very clean of bloat ware, malware etc… IE is almost never used so it’s also kept quite clean. Other people have confirmed my similarity bad performance.

  38. thanks for detailed timeline around IE8. we like the IE8 BETA so much so that we have created a little community around it at

    we hope you like the community. we would be glad if you wanted to share any feedback around the same at

  39. Damian Shaw says:



    So yeah, the test on this other computer (AMD 64 single core 2.4GHz, 2 GB DDR2 667MHz) with a fresh install of IE8 Beta 2 crashed in the same place pass 84 and took 1912625 ms

    The crash did not automatically recover, I had to terminate the iexplorer.exe process.

    Are you sure you both got up to pass 120 of the full render AND it looked like  purple shaded sphere? I find it odd that I can run to separate tests on different computers with different OSes (XP x64 vs. XP) and get the same result and it be wrong…

  40. Gabriel Golcher says:

    I normally don’t post to these things, but I’d like to make you guys aware of a bug in beta 2 that is driving me nuts…

    For some reason, after using IE8 the system does not close open processes and just leaves them there, running… it’s aggravating because after a while there’ll be like 9 – 15 iexplore processes when IE8 will undoubtedly crash (it’s fine, we all understand it’s a beta)… the thing is that the application needs to be restarted… that involves me having to manually go to Task Manager and close the 15 processes, which is a bothersome and slow process, before I can open it again…

    Also, if I need to install a program that needs me to close IE to continue, I also either have to restart previously or manually close those dozen processes… VERY aggravating…

  41. freibooter says:

    @Chase Seibert

    That’s like saying that a Ford Edsel is a pretty good car because it’s slightly faster than a Ford Model-T.

    By todays standard the performance of both, IE7 and IE8 beta 2, is simply unacceptable.

    The only reason why Google even bothered to create Google chrome is due to IE’s horrific Javascript and DOM performance which is holding back the web as a platform.

    IE is so far behind in performance and standards compatibility that I don’t know why Microsoft even bothers any more.

  42. Trevan says:

    I’m wondering if IE8 is going to fix the regression in dealing with offsetParent?  If you load this page in IE7 and in IE8, IE8 will show that it failed while IE7 didn’t.  IE6 passes as well.  This bug in IE8 makes it pretty difficult to support IE8.

  43. Hi there

    I know it has been like this for ages and it’s probably too late to address this issue at this stage.

    However, it is a pain in the … to have the "script debugging" option enabled, when you browse 3rd party websites (I know, it may come as a surprise that I use the browser both as a developer AND as an end user 🙂

    I would though like to have the Script debugging option enabled when browsing/debugging my own websites – but I don’t really bother about other developers script errors.

    So well, what I am basicly asking for is an option to restrict script debugging to only be enabled for specifik websites (perhaps Zone based). If this is somehow already possible, I appoligize.

  44. This has been said many times before, so I’ll make it simple…

    We want a Beta 3! Beta 2 was no where near the quality we expected. Before getting to an RC, we want to get the last set of bugs reports before you get to RC1.

    Closing the door now would be a horrible mistake.

    Please make sure IE8 ships with the following:

    SVG + Canvas + CSS2.1 Full compliance. Pretty please?

  45. Mike says:

    My biggest complaints from IE8 Beta 2 are

    -Lack of spell check

    -Page zoom is ridiculously slow. This become more important if you have set Windows to a high DPI setting… IE8 automatically adjusts the page zoom to 125% which in turn is very very slow.

    Also I sure hope you add the ability to drag tabs into new IE containers, ala Google Chrome.

  46. Jeremy says:

    How do I prepare for a new software release? I start by installing the beta or RC, but until it can sit alongside Visual Studio 2003 I can’t do this. Have you fixed that yet?

  47. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Mike: Spellcheck is available from at least 2 add-ons (IESpell and IE7Pro).  Performance issues with Beta-2’s Zoom feature are known and we’ve been working on performance of Zoom (and across the browser).  I’m not sure what you mean by "new IE containers", but if you hit CTRL+N, the current tab is opened in a new browser instance.

    @Jason Ashdown: As mentioned previously, our goals for IE8 include full CSS 2.1 compliance, which we aim to deliver.  We do not plan to natively support SVG or the proposed Canvas tag in IE8.

    @Daniel: We’ve received quite a bit of feedback about the script debugging prompts, although most of it is from non-developer users who simply want an easier mechanism to turn it off.  You can, of course, reenable script debugging using the dev tools (F12). Stay tuned for the RC.

    @Trevan: Thanks for the test case.

    @Gabriel Golcher: Do you see the same problem when IE is run without add-ons?  Beta-1 had some serious problems with process management, but most were ironed out before Beta-2.  I haven’t seen any issues on current builds.

    @AccessDenied: Fear not, reliability and performance both remain key areas of investment on the part of the IE team.

    @Catto: You can also middle-click the group to open them all.

    @sebastien: There are various 3rd party download manager addons available for IE if you haven’t tried them.

    Unfortunately, integrating a proper download manager than handles all of the myriad ways that file downloads take place takes a lot longer than you might think.  As syb notes, download resumption has been improved in IE.  

    @Jagannath: Are the Tools / Internet Options / Connections proxy settings the same on both computers?

    @Dave: As noted in various places, our target is full CSS2.1 compliance.

    @mynetx: You should take a look at what browser add-ons you have installed.  The new Tools / Manage Add-ons UI will show the load time for each of your enabled addons.  

    On a few machines I’ve tested, both IE and Chrome start almost instantly, and Safari and Firefox take several additional seconds.  Slowness in creating new tabs is caused almost exclusively by slow add-ons.

    @Nick: IE8 supports 6 simultaneous connections per host.  Adding more connections usually results in a slower overall experience.  But, if you want more, it’s trivial to increase the limit.  See in the "Speed tweaks" section.

    @Hammad: If IE experiences a DEP crash when closing the browser, this is a signal that you have a buggy add-on that does not shutdown properly.  When IE destroys the add-on, the add-on attempts to access already-freed memory and crashes.  Remove (or update) the addon and this problem should go away.

    @Damian Shaw: I hope you’ll agree that creating 59000 DIV elements isn’t really a good benchmark for overall DOM performance.  🙂  The problem with optimizing for contrived benchmarks is that the benchmarks often don’t map to real-world performance problems.  As noted, we focus our performance investments on real-world sites (e.g., GMail) to isolate and remove bottlenecks.

    @Howie: Have you configured IE to delete browsing history on exit?  That’s one reason that "Reopen last session" could be unavailable.

  48. Green Williams says:

    I do not care how you do it. Just get this browser out and done well. Make it give me tools I need that I cannot get from Mozilla, Opera or any other browser. If you can not, another browser will. Your job is to make my life easier, not yours! Andale!

  49. Bob says:

    Wasn’t this product meant to ship end of year *this* year? Just checking…

  50. fr says:

    Dissapointed that there isn’t going to be a beta 3 soon.  Beta 2 isn’t nice to use for more than a few minutes, and I don’t think you are going to get much more useful feedback on it now, just the same bugs repeating themselves.  Then by the time we get the next public release, you will only be acting on a small number of critical issues as you said, so the opportunity to fix other issues will have been missed.

  51. Lori says:

    Not sure if someone has mentioned this or not (because I’m not familiar with the technical reasons for rendering issues), but I have noticed that on one website I help maintain, a logo in the header is consistently not showing until I refresh the pages. On another website I have dealt with, random items on the page do not show up and upon refreshing, they might show up, but others disappear. I have disabled all add-ons but no change. Has anyone else experienced this?

  52. Le blog de MSDN l’a annoncé hier : la sortie de la version finale d’IE 8 sera retardée, puisqu’elle sera précédée d’une version RC au cours du premier trimestre 2009.

  53. P Cause says:

    I’ve kept using IE8B2, despite the many flaws.  I am glad to see you recognize that it wasn’t close to done, but am disappointed that we won’t see another update before Q1.  What about making somehting available via MSDN, since folks paying for that are likely all professional developers?

    One thing I have is that the debugging just doesn’t work.  I expect that it will be as easy to use or better than Firebug on Mozilla, *without* needing to buy or use some VS tool.  Getting some update on this would be nice.

    I’ve found sesison restore to be flaky and unreliable (yes I know it is btea, but this code is aplha at best).  Please publish where the session files are kept and format.

    When there is some content blocked, I get an info bar, but it doesn;t tell me what the issue was.  Please provide details so advanced users can see what the issue is.

    I’d expect that MS’s QA team and employees will try the browser on the top 1000 web sites and will make sure it work on those sites.  You have enough staff at the company to do this and your user base deserves this.

    B2 was a lot better than B1 and so I am looking forward to the RCs and final.

  54. I guess they took my strident feedback about Beta 2 seriously: IE 8 pretty much breaks the Web at this

  55. John Walker says:

    Javascript performance. It’s no good comparing yourself against IE7 and claim averything is great and ok.

    In our organization we are starting to move away from IE to other browser choices specifically for standards compliance AND javascript performance

    I know you are capable of giving us killer Javascript performance but are reluctant to compete with other MS technologies.


  56. Myles says:

    I just ran the basic render test in 60.125 seconds. This is on a plain P4 2.6Ghz with 2mb of PC400 RAM and using the motherboard Intel graphics. Running XP SP3, IE 8 B2. The test ran to completion.

    Try running in no add ons and retry your test.

  57. Ruramuq says:

    Cookies. Some sites logout, I don’t know why.Also when XP crashes for any reason, it seems that IE deletes cookies and Temp files I suppose for security, but thats very anoying as I preserve my cookies

    Images. Some sites are unable to save images in the IE cache :

    "save Picture as" tries to save it as bmp

    Tabs. MMB opens a new tab in the extreme right of the group. it should open it aside the current page, still inside the group

    refresh button, it sometimes does not work, using the address bar and pressing ENTER is usually better

    Favorites bar. is it possible to make it like a real menu instead of buttons. and a shorcut to hide/show easily

    Restore last session. It needs more depth. and be independent of IE cache, because deleting the history makes it obsolete right?

    Popup blocker. Uses Ctrl+Alt to override, but interfieres with IE menu

    adress bar.sometimes typing a single word attempts to load it as as url, instead of search

    Scroll Bars. when the page is loading it looses focus when you are scrolling, I cannot wait for pages to load 100% its a waste of time, can you make it more independent?

    Animated Gifs, etc. When running IE slow down a lot, for example links, etc

    Saving Images. IE does not remember the last directory correctly, some tabs do, other tabs suddently remember a different directory.

    My Pictures. Always opens as thumbnails,anoying!!

    I suppose plugins are not independent, that makes tabs slow, but IE8 is much better than IE7 but still very beta, even google needs to run in compatibility mode

  58. Mr. X says:

    Bill Veghte earlier this year said IE8 was coming out by 12/31/2008.  So much for that promise.  I guess Microsoft blew through that deadline like a bulldozer running a picket fence!

  59. Michael says:

    ok so today microsoft said ie 8 well come out in 2009 after the rcs version well what happends to the ppl that have beta 2 installed on there pcs will we get a update from windows update…..

    aww ie 8 is so much better then ie 7 the loading times r much better its faster and i have no problems with it……

  60. aldo says:

    Wow, awesome!

    IE8 Beta 2 is already a major improvement from IE8 Beta 1, can’t wait till the RC is out 🙂

    Great Job!

  61. sialivi says:

    Seems there’s a bug in the favorites menu, bookmarks (and subfolders) with ampersands doesn’t display correctly.

  62. Back in July, Microsoft indicated that there would be one more beta of Internet Explorer 8 and that the final version would ship before the end of 2008. Beta 2 was duly released in August, but yesterday, Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch revealed tha..

  63. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @sialivi: I can’t repro the ampersand issue in the current build.  Can you provide exact repro steps?

    @Lori: What’s the repro URL?

    @PCause: Can you please be more specific about what problems you’ve encountered when debugging?

  64. anonymouse says:

    Simple list of needed fixes.

    1) Fix Java Script

    2) Make sure Automated Crash Recovery works all the time.  Also, you could show an icon showing that IE is trying to recover.

    3)More web standardization.  You guys need a higher score on the ACID 3 test.  If you could pass it, no one could doubt that Internet Explorer is awesome.

    4)Just an Idea.  Take a look at IE7 Pro.  Those features make IE great.  If Microsoft were to show that site a few grand.  IE would take on a whole slew of great features.

  65. Zoltan says:

    is there any hope for a more reliable and usable favorites panel?


    – sometimes it simply rearrange the custom order alphabetically (after a crush or some ie update)

    – after some time, wrong favicons are displayed (it simply mix them) , only workaround is to delete the temp files

    – bookmark import is also lost the custom order

    – during rearranging with d&d the scrolling is extremely slow (any other win app would speed up scrolling according to the cursor distance from the panel)

    – positioning the links with d&d is very hard on vista (on xp there is a thin line showing the current cursor position)

    – there is no support for d&d from tab to favorites (it is just more handy than using the addressbar icon)


    – the addressbar should keep the newly typed(but not yet submitted) text during tab switch

    – there should be a close icon on the last tab too, it should change the tab to about:blank or about:Tabs or to the first homepage (an option for setting this would be nice)

  66. Baynado says:

    I wait for the final release and then i will compare the IE 8 with my other browsers.

  67. Techdribble says:

    Side by side install of different versions. Having to run IE6 on a virtual PC is a really annoying.

  68. MrDeez says:


    I agree that the lack of a customizable UI is a problem, but don’t hold your breath waiting for one.  I was just browsing some of the old IE blog and found this:

    ># re: Security strategy for IE7: Beta 1

    >overview, Beta 2 preview

    >Thursday, August 04, 2005 11:27 AM by redxii

    >Is there any chance Beta 2 or final will >allow total customization of every toolbar >position? I myself prefer the File menu below >the title bar.

    … so MS has known about this for over 3 years, when IE7 was in Beta 1, and now they tell us it’s not happening in IE8 (well they are throwing us a bone by letting us move 2… count ’em 2… buttons).  

    Now let’s take a look back at 2005…

    … Practically no one had ever heard of Barack Obama

    … Seattle was about to start a Super Bowl season

    … and IE had 87% market share

    Times were really good

  69. Greg Houston says:

    Since there will be no canvas support in IE8 I would like to see the IE team working with the ExCanvas guys to make sure ExCanvas will function properly in IE8 standards mode.

    On another topic, it would be nice if ticket comments were not signed anonymously, "Best regards, The IE Team", but with the actual name of the team member writing the comment.

    It would be nice if tickets were closed as they are resolved, not waiting until the date of the release itself.

    I would like to see nightly releases.

    As someone else mentioned above, I also think a beta3 would be a good idea. I am very much concerned about VML continuing to function properly until canvas is supported in a future version of IE.

  70. @Trevan

    That’s because there is an implicit <tbody> (you can see it with the Developer tools). Therefore, when applying the algorithms given at  ,

    then the nearest static-positioned ancestor of <tr id="t"> is the implicit <tbody> and not <table>.

    Obviously the algorithm given at will have to be tweaked and cover the case of implicit and explicit declaration of <tbody>.

    What should happen when

    <tbody> <tr id="t">

    is explicit?

    Regards, Gérard

  71. Zebb says:

    With multiple tabs open the task manager gets loaded with "Internet Explorer" descriptions/processes. Unfortunatly since tabs in IE crashes surprisingly quite often it would be nice to know which tab I need to "end process" on to get rid of the non-responsive tab since you can’t close it from the browser itself.

    Knowing which tabbed process is which would help from having to pick and guess to hope you get the right one.

    Other than that I’m pretty happy. Stability seems to be the biggest issue for my IE8b2

  72. Florin says:

    In IE8 Beta 2 the default rendering mode for WebBrowser Control is IE7. To force IE8 rendering mode the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainFeatureControlFEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION must be set to 8. Will this behavior stay the same in the final IE 8 release? Are you going to change this in the future?

  73. oliver says:

    @MSFT – What is going to happen from this point forward to solve the lack of transparency with IE.

    1.) The public bug tracking site sucks, and you’ll likely shut it down again when IE8 goes final, once again making the whole exercise pointless.

    2.) The feature roadmap is non-existent for any release.

    3.) The milestones are not identified up front.

    4.) No information about bugs being fixed is released until the next public build goes out.

    5.) Developers got 2 betas to test/develop against, but both have such major regression bugs that it is almost worthless even trying, and now you tell us that there won’t be a Beta 3 (the one we’ve all been waiting for)

    6.) EricLaw is almost the only MSFT team member that replies to comments on this blog. Every other MSFT IE team member needs to follow his lead

    7.) Monthly IE chats (although much appreciated) fail horribly because they always happen at the same day/time. In case you didn’t notice, the developer audience is GLOBAL.  The question box doesn’t allow pasting, and the question size is limited to anything that would be useful. This would all be fine but every question is responded to with a lame blanket statement to the effect of: "thats an interesting idea, but at this point we have locked down…   …thanks for your feedback"

    8.) Commit now! Is SVG on the roadmap for IE9 or not?

    9.) Commit now! Is CANVAS on the roadmap for IE9 or not?

    10.) Commit now! Are proper EventListners going to be handled in IE9?

    11.) Commit now! Will all the HTML form elements be fixed in IE9? (checkbox/radios firing onchange properly, not hanging the browser when clicking them, select elements supporting events on the options, or say innerHTML? or say styles? File uploads rendering a file selection box from this decade, etc.

    12.) Commit now! Tell us if MSFT plans to have a proper public bug tracking database that is updated AS THE BUGS ARE FIXED

    13.) Commit now! Is IE9 going to have a customizable UI? or are we in for a new pile of the same crud?

  74. cytam says:

    I am curious if the IE team has any changes to their plan on bug fixing the rendering engine, in case of any. In IE6 and IE7 I see MSFT not going to touch the rendering engine after release, leaving all security unrelated rendering flaws and bugs as they are until the next major release to avoid that so-called "break BC" which already gave enough countless pain to web developers.

    IE8 is claimed to commit to standards AFAIK. I really think MSFT should evaluate the possibility to continue fixing rendering bugs that are not comply to standard even after the product goes gold.

  75. wai says:

    the auto recovery may ask the user to recover page or not before it tries to recover.

    A typical website:, which contains some html that can corrupt/full load IE(any version, in XP but not vista).

    Problem is if i open the website, and find IE not responding, I may close it through task manager (well, another problem, it may be difficult for me to identify those iexplore process belongs to main UI(parent?) or tab). If I correctly "End Process" of that mal function tab, in general IE will recover it without enquire me. So the problem will loop back, IE hangs again.

  76. Brian Smith says:

    I agree with the others that are asking for a beta 3. Because of the zoom issues (repainting takes multiple seconds when zoom isn’t 100%, and zoom is constantly being reset to 125% in 120 DPI mode when I want 100%), I cannot use IE8 as my default browser. I am pretty sure that anybody using high DPI mode feels the same way. Further, it seems like the developers and MS’s testers are not using IE8 much in high DPI mode either–if they were, these problems never would have made it to beta 2.

    I applaud your attempt to reach full CSS 2.1 compliance. But, it will be almost impossible to get there with the current plan. Are you committed to fixing all CSS 2.1 bugs that are reported after RC? I doubt you will be able to, because some issues will likely need risky fixes. You really need a beta release that you believe is 100% CSS 2.1 compliant, stable, is stable, and has usable performance *before* RC in order to reach that goal.

    Finally, I just reported the "what is the current tab" usability regression. Every time I use beta 2 I feel the productivity loss from this problem, and the issue has been reported repeatedly by others. All reports so far have been dismissed as "won’t fix". What is the logic in that? Why spend so much time improving usability and productivity in other areas without fixing the regression here?

    I *am* very happy with beta 2’s CSS 2.1 capabilities. IE8’s CSS 2.1 support is notably better than Firefox’s CSS 2.1 support.

    BTW, what happens when somebody finds a CSS 2.1 compliance bug after RTM? Will there be hotfixes or service pack updates that fix compliance issues?

  77. Steinar says:

    Please add at least a "No to all" in addition to the "Yes" and "No" choices in the ActiveX / active content prompt dialog. Please also add information on the particular active content in question, such as its name and its certificate, etc. I am referring to the dialogs that are used when IE is set to ask for permission for every single control, such as when going to say, Youtube to watch a video and IE would ask if it’s okay to allow ActiveX to run.

    Another issue is the same kind of prompts showing up on top of pages that they do not originate from. Say you’re browsing a news site and you open one of its articles in a new tab. Chances are that the ActiveX controls in the new tab will show up while you’re viewing the first page. This is confusing, even for pages that are grouped / related.

    A third issue, also with ActiveX or active content is when IE seem to want to run active content from say, a news site, when I have just navigated away from the news site and onto a pure HTML / CSS page on my hard drive that has got no risky content what so ever. I’m getting this information bar at the top of the page telling me my page wants to run active content but was stopped. Doesn’t make sense. This issue is particularily worrying if I want to sell similar minimalistic pages to customers, it would turn into a support problem as this is too complicated for most customers to have to learn when it should not be necessary.

    I have mentioned all three issues before. I thought at least the last one was fixed now, but it turned out it was not.

    Other than that, I’d like to say that I really like IE 8 and the improved standardization. Keep up the good work!

    IE 8 beta 2.

  78. Disk4mat says:


    For certain I get all 120 passes. It slows down after pass 90 but still completes. Just tried it again and finished full render in 41.46 seconds.

    It may be that on your 2 systems you have 3rd party apps/security/filters that are affecting IE’s rendering.

    Here is a screenshot I snagged at pass 115. Showing open tabs and current progress for pass 115.

  79. roobaj says:

    my main issue is the lack of a simple ingerated download manager, spell checker and if i am not mistaken, there is no way to view saved passwords.

    all of the above are simple but effective features from firefox.

  80. Disk4mat says:

    @Sialivi: Issue confirmed.

    @EricLaw: To reproduce create a new folder or bookmark with a single & symbol in the name. Example: MS Windows & Vista

    From the favorites menu the bookmark (or folder) will display an under score. So MS Windows & Vista would display as: MS Windows _Vista

    The work around is to use a double &&. Example: MS Windows && Vista


    Note: This bug is also present on the favorites bar when selecting and item that has child items (folder on fav bar that contains bookmarks)

  81. @Truth says:

    Make Launch Fast…

    for e.g. Windows Media Player Light version in windows & beta opens at blazing speed.

    Normall web surfer has minimum 10- 15 tabs open. Under this, it should perform best. It is still sluggish like vista taking more time in opening windows explorer.

    Windows 7 did great job in speed..and responsiveness..users expect same from IE 8

    Finally, keep it light, fast and responsive….

  82. Damian Shaw says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]

    I totally agree creating 59000 DIV elements isn’t a good general benchmark for DOM performance and I was very careful about never stating such :-).

    Still, it does highlight bugs with the IE layout engine and it also impedes how creative web developers can be. No one will ever do anything similar for a web page, not necessarily because it’s not a good idea but simply because IE can’t handle it.

  83. Damian Shaw says:


    Thank you very much for the information, I simply can’t explain why it works well on some but not on others. The only particular difference I notice is the use of Intel CPUs vs. AMD CPUs. I’d find it odd that IE work so radically different on them though.

  84. Damian Shaw says:

    (P.S I’m 100% sure I have no interfering security applications or anything which is explicitly plugged in to IE other than Flash and Java)

  85. Dustin Boyd says:

    Regarding XHTML being a failed spec, it really isn’t.  Just because IE doesn’t parse the stuff, that doesn’t mean that it is a failed spec.  Many people are doing things like switching to Linux, which helps Firefox’s case mostly or Mac, which helps Safari.  In addition, even people who are sticking with Windows are switching.  I’m not saying it is a mass movement, but there are certainly fewer IE users than there were a year ago.

    As for the status of XHTML 2.0, it appears to be picking up the pace again.  They’re beginning to figure out what to do with the language by figuring out exactly how certain features should be decided.  In my opinion, XHTML 2.0 would be quite beneficial to developers, but I’m only one person…

    Even if XHTML 2.0 doesn’t get implemented by any user-agents, there will always be XSLT…  ^_^

  86. seb says:

    About the download manager : clicking on the same url to resume a download is not always possible. Actually most of the sites I use have automatic mirrors. And sometimes, downloads are corrupted, so you may want to have a donwload manager which lists URLs you already downloaded.

    I tried several 3rd party download managers, none works 100% for all the links.

    Well, I will still use IE but it’s weird to add gadgets while a basic functionality is still several years late

  87. W says:

    Full CSS2.1 compliance is not enough to gain the respect of web developers and designers, it’s important to fix as many rendering bugs as possible before final release. Otherwise we’ll be worse off than we are now.

    Spend some time on this page [1], and fix every bug you can, much like you did with for IE7 [2].



  88. EricLaw: Thank you for the prompt reply, looking forward to see what you have planned for the RC.

    Noticed a small bug where text is able to wrap inside an <input type="submit"> button.



    Just to let you know, if you wasn’t aware of it 🙂

  89. Top News Stories SharePoint Migration in the Hands of the Content Owner? (ITWorld) Let Business Users

  90. erictee says:

    Suggestion: IE8 drop down menu are too cluttered and some function have too many launch surface (Accelerator can be accessed via 4 places)

    I have uploaded my suggestion to Scribd

    hope you will concern

  91. says:

    Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate erscheint Anfang 2009

  92. Rimbaud says:

    Please stop fixing your terrible layout engine and just use Webkit or Gecko.  You make web developer’s life a nightmare on a regular basis.

  93. Zebb says:

    Something that would be really helpful to me as a designer/developer would be to have a split view browser for tabs with two widescreen monitors.

    In otherwords like in Visual studio you can have File one next to File Two as a splitscreen.

    With Tabs already an option in IE, being able to see 2 or even more would be super slick. Instead of having to open up two different IE browsers.

    In Win7 you go half way with the idea of wanting a split screen where you can quickly set two apps to split the screen width, now just bring it inside the browser.

  94. cseibert says:

    @EricLaw: I have a repo for the performance issue. Where would you like me to send it?I already submitted it to the "Email" link on this blog.

  95. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Daniel: Can you provide your input type=submit testcase?  Those look like checkboxes to me.  Which spec specifies the wrap behavior for such tags, HTML4.01?

    @W: A significant number of the "bugs" on the page you cited are not actually bugs.  Unfortunately, corrections or feedback on that page have not been accepted.  Bugs in IE should be reported through Connect for proper tracking and analysis.

    @Damian: I don’t understand why you think there’s a "Bug" in the layout engine, as the page in question works perfectly.

    @Disk4mat: Thanks for the clarification.  Our test team reports that the ampersand issue was fixed between Beta-2 and current builds.

    @Steinar: Very very few users have altered their Internet Explorer configuration to introduce prompting for all use of ActiveX and/or script.  Such prompting does get tiresome, which is why it’s disabled by default.

    Please keep in mind that "Active Content" includes any binary behaviors (such as Filters) in addition to Javascript, VBScript, ActiveX, and CSS Expressions.  

    @Brian: On the contrary, MS is testing high DPI extensively.  Quite a few issues have been fixed so far.  We encourage you to file appropriate bugs on the issues that you’ve noticed.  

    @wai: When IE recovers, it recovers each tab into its own process.  It also stops attempting to recover a given tab after 2 failures in a row.  

    @Oliver: The IE team is hard at work delivering IE8.  IE9 planning will begin in earnest AFTER IE8 is delivered; hence, no, no one from Microsoft is going to speculate on the final plan.  For cases where you believe you’ve found a bug (e.g. #11), please be sure you’ve provided a verifiable test case, and preferably filed an issue in Connect.  

    @Florin: The default rendering mode for non-IE hosts of the Web Browser Object will continue to be controlled by the Feature Control key.  We have no plans to change this.

    @Zebb: Are you on Windows Vista or Windows XP?  Changes in Windows Vista allow for better recovery from hangs.

  96. Florin says:

    Thanks for the answer. The first part of question was actually if the IE7 will continue to be the default rendering mode for the WebBrowser control as it is now in Beta 2 or this will change in the future? Thanks and good luck with the next releases.

  97. Tomas says:

    Oh, first quarter of 2009? Surely that means March 31, like Beta 2 was released in "mid August" on the 28th.

  98. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Florin: Yes, for non-IE users of the Web Browser control, CompatView mode remains the default unless they opt-in to IE8 Standards via the Feature Control.

    @cseibert: I received your repro by mail, and I’ll take a look at it.

    @Tomas: The IE team’s goal is to deliver a quality IE8 as soon as possible.  

    Providing exact dates is always problematic; no one wants to ship with nasty bugs just to meet a self-imposed deadline.  Keep in mind that we support IE for up to 10 years after its release, and sometimes those extra few weeks save ~everyone~ a lot of pain later.

  99. Tomas says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]:

    I’m just a bit critical. I mean, there are going to be 3 milstones between IE7 and IE8. Opera brings out a build every few weeks, Mozilla brings out an alpha or beta every few months, and also nightly builds like Apple.

    It’s clear to me that nightlies or weeklies aren’t possible here. But I think if more milestones would be released, like every 3 months, that’d be much more useful than to wait another six months.

    Like, less bugs that are actually fixed internally get filed over and over again. More milestone releases could result in more and better tester driven QA.

    At least, that’s what I think.

  100. Al Billings says:

    Mozilla also has open weekly status calls for Mozilla as a whole, the Platform, and for Firefox… Anyone can call in, read the agenda, or see the updates on the wiki.

    IE8 should be out around the same time as Firefox 3.1. So much for IE8 and Firefox 3 coming out around the same time. 🙂

  101. Tomas says:

    @Al Billings:

    Mozilla is the only one who publishes roadmaps, and they never keep to it.

    However, the release regularily, and I think that’s great.

  102. Samuel says:

    Make it fast, really fast! (Rendering, DOM Modification, Javascript, …) The overall performance should be the same as Fx3 or even better. That’s a really critical thing for people who try to build complex web applications.

  103. Al Billings says:

    @Tomas, you expect that roadmaps are set in stone? They are guidelines but at least they are public. Just about every meeting and every discussion is open to the public if they choose to call in or read the wiki. 🙂

  104. @EricLaw, @Dean Hachamovitch

    Bugzilla is a software that is widely acknowledged as excellent for community feedback for lots of companies and groups. I would welcome replacing the current IE beta connect with Bugzilla. Over 800 companies, including NASA and W3C, so far have done so. If IE 7 was 3-4 years behind other browsers (Firefox 2, Opera 9), then the first version of IE beta connect was 10 years behind Bugzilla.

    @EricLaw, @Daniel Møller

    Chances are it was a bug in IE 7 and described here:

    Regards, Gérard

  105. MegaRed says:

    La versión definitiva de Internet Explorer no llegará hasta después del primer trimestre del año próximo. El pasado verano Microsoft anuncio su intención de lanzar la versión final de Internet Explorer 8 para finales del presente año, algo que finalme

  106. Tomas says:

    @Al Billings:

    Actually I wanted to say, that this is the problem. A roadmap, given for final products, or so vague like in IE’s case is not ever to be trusted. But at least, the other browser vendors got some regular releases. IE gets release pauses from 3 months to over 1 year. Thats counterproductive imho.

    @Gérard Talbot:

    I personally doubt they’ll use Bugzilla in the future. I’ve seen wonders though.

    What concerns me more is, that the information flow ist just so restricted. We are only intermittently informed about what things *wont’t* make it into IE8 Final. But if it’s not implemented in a released milestone, we can only guess.

    For example, we already know, that text/css won’t be properly supported. Because someone filed a bug which was closed later.

    Do we know wether bugfix X or fix Y will make it? Even if they’re already fixed, the answer is no..

  107. Dave says:

    Tripe like "we already know, that text/css won’t be properly supported" is worth than worthless.  Obviously, IE supports stylesheets.  

    If you’re suggesting that IE doesn’t refuse stylesheet references that don’t contain the expected Content-Type, or something of that nature, why don’t you explicitly say so?

  108. Mark says:

    I just hope and pray that one day addEventListener will work in IE.  

    We’ve been developing for FF/Safari as our primary target.  Usually stuff "just works" the first time in both.  Strangely enough, Opera usually just works too (though it’s not a primary test target).

    We then spend a few days hacking everything up for IE.  It’s at the point now where we’re degrading the experience for IE because it’s too much work to deal with the standards-compliant crowd PLUS IE.  

    Our customers get the best experience in FF, but it works well enough in IE that they don’t complain.

  109. @EricLaw

    This is what you said about my IE 8 bugs webpage.

    > A significant number of the "bugs" on the page you cited are not actually bugs.

    Chris Wilson and, I suspect, a wide majority of IE team dev., PMs, members would say exactly the opposite, Eric. Exactly the opposite.

    > Unfortunately, corrections or feedback on that page have not been accepted.

    I am not sure I understand what you say. For sure, you are not very precise, targeting what or which bugs in my page: my IE8 bugs? the specific IE 8 bug collection sites? Individual testcases or webpages that fail in MSIE 8? Even there, I am sure there are more valid bugs in those than invalid ones.

    I never got any kind of feedback or anything. But I do know that at least 6 bugs on my IE 8 bugs webpage have been closed at connect’s IE beta feedback, some of them even wontfix:

    was "Closed (By Design)" despite


    You are correct in observing the current version of IE does not have support for this. We value your feedback and we will consider this for the future release of IE.


    but it was Closed (By Design) anyway. Not postponed. Not futured.

    "Closed (Won’t Fix)"

    even though the comments clearly suggest that this is a valid bug; fixing bug 348537 will be required if IE is going to pass acid3 test one day. Again, closed and resolved as won’t fix. Not postponed. Not futured. Not latered. Not assessed with a respective level of severity, gravity, importance and priority. Just won’t fix-ed.

    was "Closed (Won’t Fix)"

    The comment clearly and utterly contradicts the "(Won’t Fix)" resolution.

    "Closed (By Design)". Valid bug and certainly worth fixing as this equate to IE’s innerText, would elegantly replace cross-browser code. Not postponed. Not futured.

    Reported in march 2008; bug clearly contradicting MSDN’s own document. Closed and postponed.

    Bug, filed in April 2008, clearly contradicting Microsoft’s own white papers on top of everything.

    "Closed (Postponed)"

    Valid bug, DOM 1 HTML bug, filed bug at connect IE beta feedback and "Closed (Postponed)" bug.

    "Closed (Postponed)"

    "Closed (By Design)" Not postponed. Not futured.

    And here, I’m not even listing the bugs which had to be REOPENED and get properly fixed.

    > Bugs in IE should be reported through Connect for proper tracking and analysis.


    I have already submitted a number of bug reports to the Internet Explorer feedback system with simple and straight-forward test cases. I have been disappointed with the way the feedback system has been run, specifically how so many reports are marked as ‘By design’ or ‘Won’t fix’ when, according to the explanations in the comments, they should have been filed as ‘Postponed’ or simply switched from a ‘Bug’ to ‘Suggestion’. I’m trying to be as helpful as I can."

    – David Hammond, August 10th 2006


    Between 1997 and 2006, there was no way for anyone to report bugs. And bug management at IE beta feedback is certainly improvable.

    I have filed about 100 bugs at connect IE beta feedback and, as far as I am concerned, they were all relevant, valid, confirmable, worth to be investigated, useful and helpful, also had clear and reduced testcases.

    Eric, ..<deep breath>.., I just don’t understand why you would say


    "bugs" on the page you cited are not actually bugs.


    Gérard Talbot

  110. richard says:

    @Gerard, I too have tested well over 50% of the bugs listed on your page as well as other at other sites.  All were bugs, either in a really obvious way, or when comparing to the specs became very clear.

    IE has always had a public image issue, and today is no different.  IE is the AOL of web browsers… it works, it does get on the Internet, but man o man does the experience pale in comparison to any other browser.

    As for me personally, I want to know what issues are confirmed as fixed and in for the RC.

    If you tell us (or worse yet, say nothing) and just release the RC, we’re all going to have to make a mad scramble to figure out what we need to fix and what was actually fixed in IE.

    Please verify the status of ANY BUGS that have been fixed since Beta 2.




    thank you

  111. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    Issues resolved: "By design" are an indication that the feature team does not believe the issues cited represent valid bugs.  In some cases, you list reasonable feature requests, but misrepresent these as "bugs."  By that metric, any software without an infinite number of features is infinitely buggy.

    Issues #1,#2,#40 concern Favicons, a feature invented by the Internet Explorer team many years ago.  The fact that subsequent "specifications" were authored by others that were incompatible with the existing design reflects a flaw in the authorship of those documents, not a flaw in IE.

    #27: The ECMAScript 3 specification describes no implementation of the "const" keyword, noting that it is reserved only for use in a future specification.

    #86: This issue isn’t present if the QuickTime player (which steals the img/png file association) is not installed.

  112. AlfonsoML says:

    My way of preparing a new browser launch is to give a quick test to beta, check what does it breaks and report it in their bug database. When they fix those regressions I might check the new nightly and verify that they do indeed work  and so I might be able to further check if everything is working as expected, it might even replace the stable version as my current browser as the improvements in every new browser are very nice.

    Unfortunately in IE case it means waiting several months and hoping that they fix all the reported problems.

    Meanwhile I keep on developing with Firefox and then readjusting the pages for the non-standards loving browser.

  113. Tom Burriss says:

    We have the same mad scramble to address incompatibilities at RTM.  For example, right now our tree view works fine in IE8/XP, but not with IE8/Vista.  Diverting resources for beta compatibility has not been of value to us in the past.  We need a long RC to RTM period.

  114. @EricLaw

    > "By design" are an indication that the feature team does not believe the issues cited represent valid bugs.  In some cases, you list reasonable feature requests, but misrepresent these as "bugs."

    A lot of people reporting bugs or going through the connect IE beta feedback bug reports may disagree then. Spec violation or unsupported property, attribute, method will represent valid bug in their mind. Eg Not being able to select text or viewport unexpectedly jumping/moving back to top of document view is a bug (#197) IMO… but nowhere will you find an official spec stating something like that.

    > In some cases, you list reasonable feature requests

    In some cases, I list absence of support otherwise clear spec violations (including UAAG 1.0). Sometimes backed up by MSDN’s own documentation. Sometimes I identify a serious accessibility, usability, annoyance problem too (#197).

    > Issues #1,#2,#40 concern Favicons

    Issue #1 is about requesting a file that has not been explicitly linked to begin with: my verdict is that’s unjustified and not recommendable. And the bug I see has been sufficiently explained, documented and substantiated by others and elsewhere. The original feature invented by the Internet Explorer team in that issue should be upgraded, corrected for the better, for the future and for everyone involved.

    Issue #2: The original feature invented by the Internet Explorer team in that issue should be upgraded, corrected/adjusted to meet, to be compliant with 1999’s HTML 4.01

    HTML 4 specification, rel attribute value (link-types)

    That’s what I am saying.



    ‘Shortcut icon’ instead of ‘icon’, now that was definitely a simple oversight.


    is actually exactly what *you* have been saying, Eric.

    Issue #27: I have been told that


    ECMAScript 3 (ECMA 262-3), which does not list such a construct. The upcoming version 3.1 will include const


    So this one changed (or will change) from reasonable enhancement request (for compatibility purposes) to absence of support for a standard (ECMAscript 3.1).

    Issue #40: either IE7+ supports PNG natively or it does not. Notwithstanding other browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, etc) support’s for PNG and favicon/webpage icons. Issue #40 is an enhancement request and it’s certainly a fair and reasonable one.

    Issue #86: This issue has been already FIXED according to T. Leithead (in an email dated november 4th 2008), so, why mention it here and now?

    If it was not a bug according to formal and strict definition, it certainly was an obstacle/annoyance/irritation issue.

    Also, I did NOT have QuickTime installed at all when I got that yellow information bar prompt.

    If all you can bring to substantiate your


    > A significant number of the "bugs" on the page you cited are not actually bugs.


    is 5 issues, then this will certainly look like quite a stretch.

    Gérard Talbot

  115. The Internet Explorer 8 team has announced that a release candidate (RC) will be available to the public

  116. patrick says:

    I hesitate to use even upgraded versions of Chrome, since my last experience using it (first version) left my computer compromised; have they fixed the security issues beyond all doubt?

  117. Al Fulton says:

    1. It gobbles resources

    2. The tool bar, links, and other in the same area does not display

    3. It is slower to open than IE7

    Since it is going to take so long to get to the next lever, I am going to uninstall IE8.  The aggrevation is not worth it.

  118. Alex says:

    Please IE Team!

    Improve/Get the following things:

    Speed! Browsing speed.

    Use Allot Less RAM.

    Have performance great

    Have features for everyone

    A Download manager.

    Better Add-On Support

    XHTML Support

    If you add all this and make it light weight like Google Chrome. I would use IE 100 percent. But i can’t. It’s a 40 percent till it gets these stuff. I know people that would like the stuff that i listed

  119. Dustin Boyd says:

    I do agree that XHTML support would be a good thing, but I honestly don’t think MSXML is up to the challenge.  It really isn’t IE’s fault, and that’s probably why they won’t support it – they simply are unable to do so.

    If you want some semblance of XHTML support, you might try to deliver it as XML (i.e. use application/xml), and check out the following page for some workarounds that deal with XHTML 1.1 –

    You should be able to note only the MSXML3-related issues on that page since MSXML 2.x isn’t used nearly as much anymore (IE defaults to MSXML3 AFAIK).

    However, it won’t work in IE 8.0b2!  For some reason, it chokes on one of the XHTML 1.1 modules.  Turn on Compatibility mode, and it displays the document tree like normal.  Could this be a bug?  ^_^

  120. Dustin Boyd says:

    I do agree that XHTML support would be a good thing, but I honestly don’t think MSXML is up to the challenge.  It really isn’t IE’s fault, and that’s probably why they won’t support it – they simply are unable to do so.

    If you want some semblance of XHTML support, you might try to deliver it as XML (i.e. use application/xml), and check out the following page for some workarounds that deal with XHTML 1.1 –

    You should be able to note only the MSXML3-related issues on that page since MSXML 2.x isn’t used nearly as much anymore (IE defaults to MSXML3 AFAIK).

    However, in IE 8.0b2, it doesn’t seem to work!  For some reason, it chokes on xhtml11-model-1.mod for no reason that I can see.  Turn on Compatibility mode, and it displays the document tree like normal.  Could this be a bug in MSXML or is it an IE bug?  ^_^

    This "fix" comes at a cost – IE won’t style your documents when you use <link/> or <style>@import….</style> because it is just another XML tag.  You’ll need to use the <?xml-stylesheet?> PI to get around this.  Then you’ll be able to take full advantage of XHTML 1.1, though any styling you’re used to will need to be recreated.  What you’ll actually be doing is designing around the W3C box model to re-create what browsers already create for you.  The chances of this working cross-browser, however, aren’t exactly favorable.  Another cost is the lack of scripting because XML itself has no concept of scripting.

    The other option is to instead skip all of the hacks and use XSLT on the server side for IE only.  Deliver the generated HTML or HTML-compatible XHTML document to IE, and deliver the original document to other browsers that can handle XHTML.  Of course, then you wouldn’t really be using XHTML 1.1 in IE, would you?  ^_^

    *sigh*  Too much work to code XHTML for IE when every other browser, including Lynx, a text-mode browser, can handle the stuff.  XSLT all the way!

  121. Tomas says:


    >>If you’re suggesting that IE doesn’t refuse stylesheet references that don’t contain the expected Content-Type, or something of that nature, why don’t you explicitly say so?<<

    I definitely need more practice in the english language.

    It looks like you got my point though.

    This is a violation of CSS 2.1, the only clear goal for IE8. The report was WON’T FIXED.

  122. Just please do your best to start pecking away at Firefox and Google Chrome. Seriously. You guys are a group of extremely smart people… I’m sure guys can do something (and gals… no offense to any girls on the team).

    Also, would be cool if you could do the "shift+enter" to .NET and "control+shift+enter" to go to .ORG. Doesn’t make sense why it wouldn’t be there + it would be a helpful addition.

  123. fr says:

    Control+shift+enter is customisable from Internet Options > General > Language which is very handy for people to set their local suffix, or whatever one they use regularly.

  124. dc says:

    OK I’m tired of beta testing and waiting I will go back to FF3.

  125. All I care about anymore is that the rendering is on par or better with the browsers that currently render better than IE6 (not hard) and IE7. The fewer need for IE related css tricks, the better. I’m so disillusioned with the continued arrogance towards openly (and rationally) supported standards (xhtml, favicon implementation), whether they are a draft or finalized – or whether or not the IE team originally ‘invented’ them, coupled with the incredible amount of time IE8 development has taken, that I’ve moved on to using a different browser full time. At this point the frequency of updates and the incredible snail-like speed of IE development has convinced me that there’s no point in waiting for a superior browser product from Microsoft.

    All I can personally hope for is that IE8 (when it finally gets released) will ease the burden for my daily development tasks. Even then, it will be a year before the majority of users switch to IE8 and possibly longer for corporate adoption of IE8. Hell, I’m dealing with a major insurance company who wont even update to IE7 internally – and how long has that been out?

    Ditch the pride and learn to love humility.

    "concern Favicons, a feature invented by the Internet Explorer team many years ago.  The fact that subsequent "specifications" were authored by others that were incompatible with the existing design reflects a flaw in the authorship of those documents, not a flaw in IE."

    The community (ie; ‘otheres’) have left IE in the dust, moving on without it. That’s just fact now.

    Talk is cheap.

    Become Aglie – at least in some regard.

    Take a page from your successful competitors;


  126. Dustin Boyd says:

    > Hell, I’m dealing with a major insurance company who

    > wont even update to IE7 internally – and how long has

    > that been out?

    Too long for developers, not long enough for others.  😛

  127. EricLaw: The button is styled using CSS, the checkbox is not really important here (maybe I shouldn’t have included it in the images).

    The input tag looks like this:

    <input type="submit" name="loginKnap" value="Log ind" class="navLoginButton" tabindex="4" />

    CSS Class:

    .navLoginButton {

    margin-top: 1px;

    margin-left: 5px;

    width: 55px;

    height: 19px;

    font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif;

    background-color: transparent;

    background-position: right;

    color: white;

    border: 0px;

    cursor: hand;

    cursor: pointer;


    We were able to get around the text wrapping with an &nbsp; instead of a space character.

    Replacing: value="Log ind" with value="Log&nbsp;ind"

    Some of the CSS settings may not be optimal, but I don’t suppose text should be able to wrap inside a button at all?

  128. I must say, having done some testing with the beta, I am definitely impressed with how much better IE8’s rendering of various things is than IE7’s, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it out.  Indeed, as a web developer I’d really like to see it hit automatic updates so I can start expecting users to have it.

    On the other hand, though, I can sure understand the desire to not release it until it’s stable.  (I’m a Debian user myself and still using iceweasel 2, so you _know_ I understand about stability requirements and the need for patience.)  So in the long term the slower release cycle you’ve planned is probably for the best.  Just don’t make it _too_ long 😉

    NM: SVG would admittedly be really nice to have, but it’s also a big spec and would take a lot of time to implement.  Firefox is still only partway there after working on it for a couple of years.  So I’d say SVG is best left for IE9 (or 8.5, or whatever numbering goes on the next release after 8).  Besides, you don’t normally do major feature work after putting out the betas.  Focus on getting IE8 out the door first, and then worry about stuff like SVG for next release.

    Actually, even the performance issue Stan was talking about, provided it’s not significantly worse than IE7, doesn’t need to be fixed for the first release of 8.0.  If it’s going to take more time, do it in a point update ex post release.

    Ted, HTML5 is mostly just to help keep the holdouts who aren’t ready for XML yet from falling *completely* out of step with the modern web.  XHTML has significant practical advantages and is not going anywhere.  (Among other things, you can’t mix XML namespaces like RDF or SVG into an HTML5 document, but with XHTML you can, and people have already been doing this for a couple of years.  Also, wellformedness makes XML *much* easier to parse than SGML, which makes XHTML markup much more maintainable than traditional HTML, especially when it’s contructed dynamically from bits and pieces provided by different code in different places.)  The people moving to HTML5 are moving mostly from HTML4, not from XHTML.  And actually, IE *mostly* supports XHTML okay, but it needs to recognize the content-type and a couple of other details like that.  Currently most XHTML content has to be served out as text/html because of this issue.

  129. I’ve been able to reproduce it here:

    If first bugs when I add the XHTML 1.0 Transitional Doctype.

    Works fine in IE7 Compatibility mode – but wraps in IE8 mode.

  130. Regarding the script debugger it would be really nice if we could specify that it should always be enabled for specific domains, but disabled for all others – perhaps as a setting in the developer toolbar.

  131. steve says:

    Found my first bug submitted to IE to finally have the status changed correctly !!!!!

    Status: Resolved (Postponed)

    As in, for now they are doing nothing to fix it, but they at least acknowledge that it still does need fixing, thus is on the list for IE9 fixes.

    Only took MSFT 5 years, but now you seem to be getting it!

    PS the bug was 336252.

    Setting .innerHTML on a select element still fails in IE5.5, IE6, IE7, and now IE8.

    Just for the record, I do think that this kind of fix would likely only take 5min to fix. I can’t see what is so hard about this.

    Maybe you could post the C++ code and we could help you figure out the bug?

  132. Lori:  First, check whether it happens in other browsers (e.g., Opera, Firefox, Safari).  If it happens in every browser you try, then the problem is probably due to a mistake in the page’s markup or styling.  If it only happens in IE, then you should try to create a minimal test case to demonstrate the problem.  The programmers listen much more attentively when you have a good test case, as I discovered long ago on b.m.o.

    Techdribble:  I agree, multiple browser versions on the same OS is highly useful for web developers.  Konqueror has the same problem, because of the way it’s integrated into the desktop environment, which I think is somewhat similar, at least on the surface, to the way IE6 was integrated into Windows, e.g., Windows Explorer in some cases would launch IE embedded in the WE window with WE menus and toolbars, and the reverse situation was also possible; Konqueror, for reasons that are not clear to me, does something very similar with its file manager and web browser components, which can be confusing if you don’t realize what’s going on.  Admittedly, some things (such as the home button) would not be quite as confusing on Windows (since the user’s personal documents folder isn’t usually called a home directory), but still, integrating the file manager with the browser never made any sense to me, and I hope Microsoft doesn’t go back in that direction.  That’s a past better left behind.

  133. Tomas says:

    @Jonadab the Unsightly One:

    Just FYI, HTML5 is not SGML. It’s merely inspired by SGML, but actually its very own syntax and parsing is defined in the spec/draft.

  134. SiSL says:

    I’m for one amused by reading comments here about how SVG is a-must. What’s with that obssession or are they same people over and over :p

  135. Anton P says:

    @Daniel Møller, EricLaw:

    No specification supported by IE8 specifies in any detail how form elements are to be presented.  For example, "CSS 2.1 does not define which properties apply to form controls and frames, or how CSS can be used to style them. User agents may apply CSS properties to these elements. Authors are recommended to treat such support as experimental. A future level of CSS may specify this further."[1]

    Hence, browsers are free to do as they wish with the presentation of form elements.

    The historical non-wrapping, truncated overflow behaviour of (input-)buttons as implemented by most (all?) released browsers to date is horrible because these browsers also prevent overriding this behaviour via CSS.

    IE8’s wrapping behaviour is welcome because it corresponds to web authors’ expectations; where else outside of <pre> does text not wrap by default?  Moreover, if required, it /is/ possible to achieve non-wrapping by CSS (or by using no-break spaces as Daniel suggests).

    [1] Section 3.2 of

  136. Rajiv Das says:

    IMHO, IE8 Beta2 is still not the killer IE, that the users are expecting. Lot’s of rough edges adn missing features. Frankly, we want to surf the net, store book marks and be done. Who wants to muck around with 1000IE settings and options. It’s a sad state of too many choices and legacy features. Feels like a patchwork on top after all. Sorry guys.

  137. > text/css won’t be properly supported. Because someone filed a bug which was closed later.

    Just so that everyone can understand and follow previous comments from Tomas and Dave:

    Bug 364028: External stylesheet not labeled text/css must be ignored.

    was Closed and resolved as Won’t Fix

    Relevant reduced testcase on this:

    HTTP response headers for that stylesheet:

    Relevant specification section:

    indicates that stylesheet should be served as text/css and not as text/plain or served with an incorrect MIME-type such as "application/x-pointplus"

    Also HTML 4.01, section 14.6 Linking to style sheets with HTTP headers:

    Tomas, you’re right. They should have just futured, latered, postponed that bug. Even just leaving it with status: Active along with a "At this time we do not plan on fixing this issue. We will consider this in the future release of IE." typical comment was more sensible, careful than closing+wontfix-ing it.

    Regards, Gérard

  138. Alex says:

    No SVG, minimal PNG, and buggy GIF support?  Puhleeze.

    From the point of view of a web dev the conversation goes something like this:

    look at all these cool charts and things that I can easily make from within our webapp framework.  I can even embed them in a PDF and it’ll print beautifully.  You don’t even need a crufty plugin for your browser!  You’re using IE?  Oh.  Sorry, Microsoft wants to lock you into their proprietary technology that nobody will ever use instead.  You’ll have to look at the ugly version of the page.

    Political garbage aside, Internet Explorer will be further behind if you don’t support what everyone else does.   You IE devs claim to listen to feedback, yet you ignore all the cries for standards compliance and feature parity with other browsers.  All we lowly devs get back is drek that’s been filtered a few times through your PR department.

    Every once in a while you’ll do something in the name of standards compliance.  Something like rename a bunch of CSS properties, so now there are what? three? cases you’ve got to support to handle proprietary MS CSS extensions?  Ugh.

  139. @Steve,

    They fixed 2 bugs regarding the add() method for adding options to a select:

    See bugs #14 and #72 at my webpage. So there is a workaround, a web standards one (innerHTML is not anywhere in DOM 1 & 2) for adding options.

    Regards, Gérard

  140. steve_web says:

    @Kellie [MSFT] re: "Thanks for your help in filing bugs. The connect site will be updated with all of the bug fixes, and current status on the issues when the RC build is released."

    I understand that some things are still being worked on, however the connect site needs to be updated before the release. e.g. if window.onresize will not be fixed by the RC, then many of us need to redesign our sites to make a downgraded version for IE8.  I would certainly hope that we wouldn’t need to do this, but there are still many fairly big regression bugs that are going to cause us a lot of grief if they are not fixed.  Knowing up front, what things have been fixed will allow us to prioritize on what workarounds we need to put in to make our applications and web sites work in IE.


  141. steve_web says:

    @Gérard Talbot: yes, glad to see the .add() method is fixed, but I find it surprising that the browser that added the .innerHTML property is the only one that doesn’t seem to support it on every element (theres at least 3 that IE fails on)

    Since setting the .innerHTML renders much faster, and in the past IE had so many issues setting attributes, using .innerHTML became the status quo.  Was just hoping that there would be a fix for this… and for Tables too.

  142. Dave Lane says:

    I think it’s cool that MS is considering dropping IE (Trident?) and shifting to a better (open source) engine, like Webkit…

    At least then you’d come close to achieving parity with the other browsers on the market, all of whom are giving your browser efforts a serious paddlin’ in the web standards, functionality, and performance stakes… and doing so on budgets at least an order of magnitude smaller than yours…  wonder what the MSFT shareholders make of that…

    I recommend certainly recommend an "If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em" approach – something that open source encourages.  Anyway, Microsoft – admitting defeat is probably the best way to get yourselves out of this rather embarrassing IE browser mess.  

  143. Lightweight says:

    I’m struck, reading the above comments, by the fact that just about all of them are from developers/users who are requesting that IE8 support features that neither IE6 nor 7 support, but all other browsers do.  I though MS were supposed to be innovators…  I fail to see innovation.  I just see catch-up with the leaders, and I see the failure of the MS development model.

  144. Dustin Boyd says:

    Many of these XHTML, SVG, etc. issues are related to MSXML, which the IE team has no control over.  If I’m thinking about it correctly, they only use the MSXML libraries to add some XML support.  In many people’s opinions, there is more important work to do on the rendering engine and the scripting engine (CSS, DOM, script execution speed) than anything else anyway.

    In addition, XHTML isn’t really the MSXML team’s responsibility since it is a "reformulation of HTML 4 in XML 1.0".  The HTML bit means it is the IE team’s job.  However, MSXML doesn’t support some of the things that the W3C does in its DTDs, resulting in IE’s current inability to do anything to support XHTML.

    Unless the IE team created its own XML parsing engine or the MSXML team "fixes" theirs to support XHTML or at least the stuff that causes errors in IE currently, XHTML support in IE is only a fantasy.

  145. hAl says:

    Don’t waste time on Xhtml, canvas of SVG or a download manager.

    Concentrate on de standards compliance and the user experience of the browser.

    I have seen on Gerard Talbot pages at least 30 or 40 still open standards related bugs and even if the IE team does not consider all of them bugs that would leave at least 20-30 standard bugs that should be fixed. Especially those that are regressions form earlier versions.

    Make sure that the browser feel faster and correct all issues to do with the user experience.

  146. Dustin Boyd says:

    > Don’t waste time on Xhtml, canvas of SVG or a

    > download manager.

    > …

    > Make sure that the browser feel faster and correct

    > all issues to do with the user experience.

    I agree with all but the last one.  The team doesn’t just have us developers to think about; they need to make sure the user experience is good too, as noted in the last of the quoted lines above.  A download manager would be a welcome addition for users.  Even something as simple as Firefox 3’s DM would work.  You can pause, resume and cancel unfinished downloads, and you can clear finished/cancelled downloads with the click of a button.  That would be enough, and it shouldn’t take too long to add if it is that minimalist.

    As for the standards-compliance with regards to XHTML and SVG, I agree.  Those can wait.  As for HTML 5 features such as the canvas element and the canvas API, those could wait too.  After all, it’s just a draft right now, and it could change at any time.

  147. jrsmith says:

    SVG is a real must for the kind of corporate reporting web apps that my team has to work on. If Microsoft can’t implement this in time, please work with a third party to include at least some support as a plugin (license a plugin from a third party, and ship it). If IE8 doesn’t deliver at least SVG+XHTML, it will definitely be dead (completely gone) in my organisation by Q3 2009.

    In order of importance, I would like to see the following: MathML, proper XHTML, and Canvas.

  148. Miles says:

    I have tried ie 8 beta 1 and 2 and niether one would ever open up. It is all i know of that has problems on my comoputer. i have a dual core amd x86 vista ready laptop Hp dv9008nr..

    any suggestions? Thanks Miles

  149. Joku says:

    I would like to see interim release / "CTP" or whatever in the next month.

  150. Daniel says:


    There’s no need to wait. It’s already clear that IE8 won’t include any XHTML/SVG/MathML support.

    If that weren’t the case, these features would already be visible in Beta 1 and 2.

    Personally, I’m happy that my company recently upgraded to IE7 (hope they’ll wait not that long to ship IE8). But we’re free to use another browser anyway.

  151. snaven says:

    There are some function in IE8 that I miss:

    In Firefox:

    When Firefox ask you if it should remember your password. It pops up a menu with different choises. I like this MUCH better than the one in IE. Also, in firefox, it will login to your account before you have answered if it will remember or not. In ie you have to answer first. That bad… So get some inspiration from Firefox guys!

    Firefox have a lot of addons. I miss this in IE. In Firefox I have an YouTube Downloader. I love it! It makes it much easier to save movies on the internet.

    In Firefox 3.1 they have added a new Ctrl + Tab function. Now it looks much more like the Shift + Tab. That function is much better than their old and yours. You should do the same!

    Exept from that I love IE8! So good luck guys!

  152. Rob says:


    A download manager is not needed. Downloading and resuming of downloads works fine in IE8 and is more than enough for nearly all users. Users that need more can always download a download manager plugin.


    If SVG is a real must and you can”t use alternative methodes your tooling is inflexible at best. Als I wonder how you accept that no browser has full SVG support yet.

  153. Eghost says:


    Who are you listening to your boss? Because you haven’t been listening to the Beta Testers. The only thing Microsoft has been able to say to Beta testers is"NO" So much for changing, listening and learning from your mistakes. What happened to "Life with out Walls"  As far as IE 9’s UI customization  I predict it will be a nice big fat wide ribbon, it will be Microsoft’s way.  Ted is right about complaining to Apple, because Microsoft has become Apple, just say NO

  154. Jim says:

    I know what IE 8 needs to succeed,  The "Mojave Experiment" of it’s very own.

  155. Martin says:

    Hola..,recien me entere que salio esta nueva version…….la testeare de inmediato a ver que tal funciona.




  156. fionbio says:

    Stop asking for SVG and Canvas, as well as proper DOM support and fast JavaScript engine. You will not see them even in IE10 because they may hurt Silverlight.

  157. Jan Kuipers says:

    I’m very satisfied with the Beta 2. But there is one thing I miss: a good and safe passwordmanager that also works on sites that have turned autocomplete off.

    Now I use WebReplay passwordmanager and I don’t understand why such a program can’t be built in IE. I mean, today passwords must be used everywhere and they must be complex.

    Yes there is Windows CardSpace but this good solution (IMO) is hardly used.

  158. Eddie says:

    In the final version, could you please make IE8 available for Greek x64? Thank you.

  159. Ted says:

    Al Billings, when you come over to troll on the IEBlog, you probably should use a signature that indicates you work for Mozilla.

    Dave, you have no idea what the IE team’s budget is, nor, I suspect, do you have any idea how much Apple, Google, and others spend on Webkit.  If you read what Ballmer *actually* said, he merely pointed out that Microsoft is *always* interested in what open source products are up to.

    steve, I’m entirely confident that they’ll fix the resize event.  The IE team isn’t going to break the web, that’s the whole point of taking so long to release.

    Alex, when you say stupid, unsubstantiated things like "buggy GIF support", no one will take you seriously.  If you have a complaint, build a test case and file a bug.

    Gerard, I’d imagine they "won’t fixed" the bug because they have no intention of EVER fixing it.  There’s little point in breaking the web just to comply with a poorly thought-out standard.  Even HTML5 allows for content-type sniffing.

    Sisl, I suspect you’re right, and most people complaining about SVG support don’t understand that other browsers are far from full support either.  This is partly due to the SVG specification being *dramatically* overcomplicated.  We don’t need yet another way to do form in the browser, for instance.

    Jonadab, consider reading and the HTML5 working group charter, and what the WG had to say about XHTML.  IE doesn’t support XHTML (no verification, case-sensitivity, etc), although if the content happens to look enough like regular HTML, the parser accepts it anyway.

  160. net says:

    I have been experiencing the same rendering issue Lori pointed out (comment

    Some page elements (images, text parts, etc.) are not fully displayed (or displayed at all) untill I click on the page or refresh it. It is really really annoying.

    It happens with a lot of web sites, for example when searching on Google or with WordPress-based blog posts.

    (This rendering issue does not happen when the compatibility view mode is turned on)

    P.S.: I am running IE8 Beta 2 on Windows XP SP3.

  161. Ted,

    if Steve Ballmer merely pointed out that Microsoft is *always* interested in what open source products are up to, then Bugzilla as a global bug tracking and reporting system for *all* Microsoft products, not just IE, is definitely an excellent opportunity/possibility. Big corporations (eg NASA) have done so.

    Bug 348537

    was Closed and WONTFIX-ed while the comment from IE team clearly indicates IE team intends/wants to fix it. In any case, to pass acid3 test implies to fix bug 348537.

    Bug 348575

    was WONTFIX-ed. But the comment clearly indicates that the bug is valid and will need to be fixed. If Microsoft had Bugzilla installed and properly configured, then this bug 348575 would have been futured with a milestone/target like IE 9 (or 8.5) and with "highrisk" keyword added: the status would remain as it was: ACTIVE and not closed.

    Fixing bugs should still remain a priority for *many* reasons. Remember that IE is widely in use (~=71% worldwide) and there never was any place to report bugs in IE for proper tracking and analysis during many years (1997-2005).


    I think you’re absolutely right. Implementing SVG and canvas does not make sense with investing time, energy, resources of all kinds in Silverlight.

    DOM 2 Events will be implemented in IE 9 (or IE 8.5) because the DOM 2 Events model is more versatile, much more powerful than IE event model. Web authors will want + demand it more than SVG. SVG will hit performance and memory footprint and not everyone would want to see SVG animations. A more nuanced, flexible, less commital approach makes more sense: develop a SVG plugin first in IE 9 and then see how it goes/what happens. Anyway, Microsoft has other plans (Silverlight) besides SVG.

    Regards, Gérard

  162. Sue-Jean says:

    XP SP3, on Thinkpad T60

    Since mid-October, my Favorites Center button stopped working.  (The "Favorites" on the menu bar works.)  The flyout does not work at all.  A quick internet search reveals that there are a few similar incidents.  Are you aware of this problem?  If so, will the fix be included in the next beta release?  

  163. Christian Schiffer says:

    Need for speed!

    Obviously the all known bugs must be fixed before release and as importent, IE8 must be faster than all its competitors. That by the way goes for Windows 7 too.

    Speed is the key for success, the key for microsofts future as a leading competitor in this business.

  164. &quot;We will release one more public update of IE8 in the first quarter of 2009, and then follow that

  165. The Internet Explorer 8 team has announced that a release candidate (RC) will become available to the

  166. Lori says:


    I sent an email to the blog with the repro/website info.


    Thank you for confirming I’m not the only one seeing the problem.


    I have tested these two sites in several browsers:

    IE6, IE7, Firefox 2 & 3 (pc and mac), Safari (pc and mac), Opera, Chrome.

    I only see the issue in IE8 – beta 2. I have Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 2.

  167. Jenn says:

    Are there plans for a virtual pc download of IE 8?

  168. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jenn: See for links to all of the VirtualPC images, including the IE8B2 image.

    @Sue-Jean: Do you see this problem if you start IE in no-addons mode? explains how.

    @eghost: IE8 has millions of beta-testers, and as Dean has elaborated above, there are lots of ways in which their feedback has shipped the product.  No product ever includes every feature from every individual’s wishlist (not even mine!) but we strive to delight the greatest number of people as often as possible.  IE8 represents a significant leap over IE7, and we’ll continue our efforts into IE9.

  169. Sue-Jean says:

    To EricLaw:  First, thanks for your interest.  This morning EST, I found this fix:  

    As of yesterday, I saw the no-flyout problem with Favorites Center with or without addons.  Curiously enough, at work, I use XP Professional SP3 on Thinkpad T61 and have had no comparable problem.  I doubt that the problem is related to certain Thinkpad models, though, because the original poster on the C-Net thread had an eMachine.  

    For Vista users, there appears to be a workaround:  

  170. At we prepare by alerting the employees and making time available to answer questions and anticipate individual issues.  

  171. At we prepare by alerting the employees and making time available to answer questions and anticipate individual issues.  

  172. Yehuda says:

    Been using IE8 B2 since it was released, and other then a few crashes and incompabilities it was a good experience.

    I would love to see a different Favorites bar.

    Especially the History area is not very user friendly (even a browser tab with a grid and search/filter ability would be far better).

    More speed is always welcome.

    Good job so far otherwise.

  173. The developer tools are a nice addition but it seems to me it is missing an obvious piece of functionality – the ability to inspect request/response headers.  Any chance this could be added before IE8 ships?  Or is this feature in there and I’m just not finding it?

  174. I’d like to see the Command Bar share the same space with the Favorites Bar.  I usually don’t have that many favorites on this bar but I usually have lots of tabs open.

  175. Annoyed as Hell says:

    Hey guys, just wanted to give ya the heads up that I am ready with my IE8.css style sheet for your wonderful browser.

  176. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @KeithH: Adding lightweight header inspection to the developer tools is a feature request we’ve gotten a few times.  The devtools team concentrated on adding value in places where they could uniquely do so, and the result is the new script debugger and profiler.

    For examining HTTP traffic, I’d suggest you take a look at Fiddler (  Fiddler offers much more than just header-viewing: You can also *modify* traffic (manually or automatically) as it flows across the network, enabling a much richer set of testing.  You can collect HTTP/HTTPS traffic captures and archive it to files (see too) for later viewing or comparison.  You can use Fiddler to modify the performance characteristics of traffic (e.g. what does my site look like on a modem) and can view timing charts to understand how your site is downloaded. There are a set of tutorial videos for Fiddler here:

    Beyond Fiddler, there are a number of header inspector plugins that work directly within IE (e.g. HTTPWatch) if that’s how you prefer to work.

    @Sue-Jean: Thanks for the notes.  We’re looking into the Connect bug.

  177. says:

    Is Compatibility View fixed yet? In beta 2, if you add to the compatibility list then it adds the entire second-level domain instead of just the one site. This is the second time that I’ve mentioned the issue on this blog but nobody replied to the first one so I’d like to just make sure that you know about the problem.

    I also posted the same problem to the NZ IE8 blog ( and my comment was deleted. That doesn’t bode well…

  178. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Behodar: Thanks for the note; I’m not sure why your comment wasn’t posted.

    Yes, the issues with the .NZ domain are known.  The challenge with the .NZ domain is that it’s not set up in the typical ccTLD fashion, which means that it’s difficult to reliably know which part of the FQDN is the TLD.  Stated another way: "There is no algorithmic method of finding the highest level at which a domain may be registered for a particular top-level domain (the policies differ with each registry)."  (

    We’ll have more to say on this topic in the RC1 timeframe.

  179. stalepie says:

    Two questions.

    1. Why is it ie8-beta freezes on me a lot, but then when I start to press CTRL ALT DELETE to find which iexplore.exe is screwing up it suddenly releases itself from its frozen state and comes back to life? Was it scared of me? was I threatening it?

    3. Why should we the consumers, or users, or whatever, have to beta test a product from the world’s second most successful software company? (First being Google, and they’re doing the same thing with Chrome which will perpetually be in "beta")

  180. Ted says:

    stalepie: You don’t "have to" beta test anything.  You get to beta test browsers because there’s no other way to test a product this complex. If you don’t understand why that is, you probably should not bother reading the IE Blog, just wait a few months and install the release version like the hundreds of millions of other "normal" users.

    (By almost any metric (market cap, revenue per year, number of users, etc) Microsoft smashes Google.)

  181. stalepie says:

    In order for Internet Explorer 8 to be finished it has to be beta tested. Beta testers are not getting paid. We are the guinea pigs. Don’t you at least find this rude that both Google and Microsoft indulge in this behavior?

  182. stalepie says:

    I guess it doesn’t matter since we’re not paying for it. It’s not like a video game where you pay $40 dollars for it and expect it to work.

  183. Dustin says:


    I fail to see your point…

    Why would beta testers get paid to test *free* products?  We’re the guinea pigs because we’re the ones that care enough to make our pages work in a variety of browsers, including browsers that will be released in the coming months such as IE8.  If you don’t dare to care to prepare, then why are you on IEBlog?

    Care to enlighten us as to what your purpose for complaining is?

  184. Sonic says:

    I hope I can create my own search provider just like in IE7. It is not officially supported although is still available.

  185. Quarem says:

    As a user I have used Beta 2 since it’s release in August to try to provide the IE Team with usage statistics.  After three months of using IE Beta 2 as my only browser I have had enough.  I was hoping that there would be an update soon to fix some of the problems with Beta 2 (speed, compatibility) but now that I know that it’s going to be a few months yet I’m going back to Firefox.  

    In my opinion you would be better off to release smaller incremental beta updates to satisify users like myself and keep them testing.  Being stuck with month’s old beta code is frusturating.

    After using Firefox again for the last few days, my only comment is make sure IE8 is at least as fast as Firefox 3.  The increased responsiveness and page-rendering speed of Firefox over IE 8 Beta 2 has been a breath of fresh air.  I miss the IE UI though, which I consider to be better than Firefox’s more traditional UI.

    I’ll come back and use (i.e. test) the next release when it’s available.

  186. says:

    Thanks Eric, good to hear that you know about the .nz issues 🙂

  187. Michael Ens [MSFT] says:


    Right click on the command bar area and uncheck "Lock the Toolbars", and then drag the command bar up to the favorites bar.  I recommend locking the toolbars again after you do that.

    I do exactly that for exactly the reasons you mentioned :).

  188. Tihiy says:

    Tab opening time is slow no matter what, several hundred ms on absolutely clean XP system. I suspect this is architecture bug, and very hard to fix, but please, have a look into it. No program is usable when it has such big responsibility problems.

  189. Lee says:

    There’s only one feature that interests me.  I’d like to be able to open links in the same window and tab regardless of the target attribute.  Currently we have the option of choosing to open in a new tab or window (from the settings) but i can already control this by holding ctrl or shift respectively whilst clicking (or by right clicking and choosing the appropriate option).

    If i knew that clicking on a link would open in the same window all the time then this would save me loads of hastle.  Currently if i know a site is linking to an outside site i open the site in a new tab and then close the current tab to avoid any inconsistencies and confusion.  Obviously this method is far from ideal and i lose all my history.

  190. jesse says:

    @Eric Lawrence [MSFT]

    I have an web application that includes images (gif,jpg,png) as normal, but also some links to images in this format…


    where on the webserver, this is served up with the correct headers for a GIF image.

    Content-Length: 809

    Content-Type: image/gif

    (as well as all regular headers… and no-cache, and a 1969 expiry)

    What is odd is that these images where the filename extension is not .gif .jpg or .png but .xml (possibly other extensions) work just fine in Firefox Chrome and Opera but IE6,7,+8 all seem to randomly choke on some of the images.

    e.g. If I have 10 images loading, ~4 of them won’t load, and I get those little red x’s.  But if I reload the page, 1 or 2 of them might display just fine, and 1 or 2 more might vanish.  Best of all, if I right click on any of the broken ones and choose "Show Picture" it loads just fine.

    Using Fiddler I see that when they don’t load, they "claim" to get a 500 server error.

    Does IE see the file extension then peek at the first bit of content being returned and determine that there is some sort of issue because (in my case) it isn’t xml, but binary?

    In the short term, I’m reworking all images to have the real extension in the filename (even if a generated reference).

    Thanks in advance,


  191. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jesse: If you see a HTTP/500 server error in Fiddler, that means that your server is failing to generate the images properly.  Is there text in the status line, headers, or body that explains what the failure is (a JSP/ASP/CFM exception, perhaps)?

    Changing the URL to the file is unlikely to fix this server-side error.

    If you provide me with a repro URL (or a Fiddler SAZ capture) I’m happy to take a look and see if there’s any further help I can provide.  

    @Tihiy: What’s your new tab homepage? Is it about:blank?

  192. Jesse says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]

    There is definately something messed up, because it works fine in all other browsers.  More importantly, the "generated" bit is really just Apache rules that do mod rewrites to point to GIF images.

    Since I can load the image one second, but not the next, and vica versa IE is just getting confused somewhere.

    If I can setup a log that shows this I will send.

  193. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jesse, if your server is returning HTTP/500 error messages, it’s not IE getting confused, it’s the server.

  194. Jagannath says:

    Can we expect IE in Indian Languages? Firefox already has it in Telugu (India).

  195. Vishwac Sena Kannan [MSFT] says:

    @Jagannath, Thanks for your question and yes IE8 will also be avaialble on several Indian languages at RTW – stay tuned.

  196. harold says:

    The term is RTM (Release To Market) not RTW.

    Alpha – Beta – RC – RTM

    In IE8’s case, thus far we only know…

    Beta1, Beta2, RC1, ???, RTM

  197. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @harold: At Microsoft and some other companies, the acronym "RTW" means "Release to Web".

    RTM (or "Release to Manufacturing") is usually used to refer to "traditional" products that ship on CD or DVD.

    The terms are often used interchangeably by development teams.

  198. says:

    Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager f�r den Internet Explorer bei Microsoft, hat letzte Woche im IEBlog einen Release Candidate des Internet Explorer 8 f�r das erste Quartal 2009 angek�ndigt. Typischerweise wird dieser RC das Ende des Beta-Stadiums des

  199. Jace says:

    I found that having the Java add-on enabled caused very slow new tab creation, over a second.

    Disabling the Java add-on has made new tab creation almost instantaneous.

    This was with Java 6 Update 10…

  200. sstock says:

    Could you have a look on your implementation for :hover. This seems to be very slow if used for non-link elements on complex pages.

    This really hurts us and we need to find dirty workarounds to fix this issue.

  201. abc says:

    A small suggestion to make to Favorites bar more awesome. When I click on the ‘Add to Favorites Bar’ button on for example: I get an entry on the bar called ‘Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing’. It would be much nicer to not have an overflowing text and simply ‘Flickr’. So why not let the website address be the default title for a new favourite entry instead of some long discriptive title from a webpage. All these long entries clutter the favourites bar.

  202. Billigflüge says:

    I am really curious about the next releases and especially their standard complience. I appreciate it very much that you keep an eye on all the usability issues. Hopefully your work to review all the comments and suggestions will fructify. Good luck! And thanks for keeping us informed!

  203. Toni says:

    After installing Beta 2, it is not possible to see the headed one of the Outlook Express messages in the not-main identities.

  204. Olivier says:

    @abc : the long name of the favorite is the name of the current page. IE can’t guess a name, so it takes the one in the title tag.

  205. Toni says:

    After installing Beta 2, it is not possible to see the headed one of the Outlook Express messages in the not-main identities.

  206. JG says:

    How do you adjust IE8 so the "What’s new in IE8" tab doesn’t appear each time you open the browser? I only expected to see that screen the first time and now it comes up every time I open IE8.

  207. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @JG: What’s the URL of the page you see?  What are your homepages set to in Tools / Internet Options?

    @abc: You can rename items on your Favorites bar by right-clicking them.  The problem with just using the domain name is that it may not be specific enough (e.g. "Yahoo" would include their mail page, their groups page, their search page, etc, etc.)

  208. abc says:

    @EricLaw: That is indeed a valid point. Maybe for the next version you could develop a smart algorithm to come up with a short and useful name for default? The default favourites title should be right more of the time (now almost every added favourite needs renaming).

  209. iGuide says:

    Please allow the simple opacity:nn CSS style, otherwise your browser will appear to be broken.  This is just a matter of your future browser understanding a soon-to-be CSS property that is sure to be implemented soon, and that has been essential to modern web development for many years now.  So what if it doesn’t validate for CSS 2, but only for CSS 3?  You should allow it anyway, and let web designers decide for themselves what standard, if any, if it even matters, they want to validate to.  The important thing is that we can make web pages that work to current or future standards, who cares about stupid semantic rules anyway?

  210. graffic says:

    1. Review your tests. Usually we do prepare tests for important functionality but we leave the details to be tested later. Make a list of all your features and test them.

    2. Because your product is quite big, do an Release Candidate and collect information from your "real world" testers.

    3. Prepare for the next steps. While developers and engineers test each other software and finish, you should plan for "the after".

    3.1. Is the product gonna require frequent updates?

    3.2. What parts did you left out for a 8.1 version?

    3.3. Prepare to analyze market impact of your new product and their competitors. Did you do a great job?

    As far as I’ve seen and using the history of IE6 and IE7, I don’t know if your product is gonna be good for the web industry or just another weight to carry.

    Think that people will have to "change" and when you do have to change from one browser to another, some people will ask themselves if IE8 is the alternative or perhaps other browser is.

    So take all the information you can from the RC, because your team will make: or thousands of developers happy, or just confirm what IE6 and IE7 were.

  211. Jagannath says:

    On my office PC I have windows XP installed. I have the IE 8 Beta 2, Firefox 3.0.4, Chrome installed. I am able to use Windows Live Mesh in the other two browsers. But, in IE I am not able to sign into the Live Mesh. The Connection settings are same for all the browsers.

  212. My apologies in advance if these things have been mentioned.

    1. I found IE8 beta 2 to be largely unusable. There were so many pages that didn’t work that I switched compatibility mode on permanently, to be able to use IE8 on a day-to-day basis. In essence I gave up on IE8 beta 2 and now run it in compatibility mode. The rest of this information is with IE8 running in compatibility mode.

    2. As the creator and maintainer of the Australian English dictionary files used by hundreds of thousands of people, I’d really like the ability to have spellcheck without having to install IE7Pro. IE7Pro adds many features I don’t need and I find it is cumbersome for people to set up. The IE7Pro download manager has been a cause of problems for a number of people who have contacted me. A simple spellcheck add-on would be preferred, or for the feature to be built-in. I personally wouldn’t recommend a browser that can’t spellcheck with all the online work we do now.

    3. I found the customer search engine facility from Google causes an infinite loop in IE8. I receive a pop-up blocked message and allowing pop-ups then causes the loop. This works fine in all other browsers. You can use the site to do a search and check what happens.

    4. I just went to print the following PDF ( The dialogue was malformed and thus didn’t work. I had to resort to using Firefox to print the PDF. The printer was an Epson C1100.

    5. Would prefer new tab with nothing in it.

    6. I find the speed lower than desired.

    7. I have no need for a download manager and find the built-in features to be sufficient for my needs. This isn’t to go against what others want, just to let you know it isn’t important to me. It does appear important to others.

    I hope the feedback helps.

  213. Vasiliy says:

    Неужели это будет настольки хороший браузер? не верю! Насколько это реально?

  214. Ens says:

    @Kelvin Eldridge:

    In Tools->Options’ general tab, go to tab settings.

    Under "When a new tab is opened, open:" select "A Blank Page".

    Then new tabs will open blank.  You can also set your homepage to about:blank if you like.

  215. paarden says:

    Ens, thanks for your help. I was looking for a way to make that work. I found it today! Thanks!

  216. brent says:

    When I save a web page (complete) in IE8 Beta 2, why does it alter my CSS files?

    I have things like:


     border:1px solid #000;


    which then gets converted to:

    *#foo {

     BORDER: 1px solid #000000;


    I don’t care about the case change or the spacing, but why does the star (*) get added?

    I noticed it gets added to every CLASS or ID based CSS declaration.

  217. steve_web says:

    If I overlay a sem-transparent div over (e.g. lightbox) over my page, I shouldn’t be able to select the text underneath it (since the div blocks my clicks to the content below).

    This BREAKS in IE8 due to the Activities feature.  I can now select any content that is under a semi-transparent div to then copy/paste/print or do whatever with.

    Since IE does not yet support the user-select CSS property (or have their own -ms- implementation) just how does one now deal with this regression issue?

    Or will this be fixed in IE8 RC?

  218. steve_web says:

    PS The above is in ADDITION to the opacity/z-index regression bug in IE8 Beta 2.

  219. 321 says:

    Is it possible to set IE8 to render ALL sites in IE7 mode for now? How would I do this?

  220. steve_web says:

    @cwilso / @EricLaw / @anyone at MSFT:

    Can I get confirmation that MS is aware of, and looking into the z-index bug with:

    -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsft.Alpha(Opacity=25)";

    I really don’t want to have to submit a test case and file a bug in IE Connect if this has already been fixed.



  221. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @321: On the Tools menu, click the "Compatibility View settings" option.

    @steve_web: I’ve seen various bugs related to the opacity filter and the Z-Index.  It would of course be helpful to see your repro case to ensure that the issue you’re seeing is the same one we know of.

    @Kelvin: Issue #3 does not repro in current builds.  Please check back for the RC build when it’s available.  For issue #4, was the dialog an IE dialog or an Acrobat Reader dialog?  Either way, it would be helpful to know specifically which dialog it was.

    @Jagannath: What specifically happens when you attempt to log into the Live Mesh?

  222. @Ens: Thank you for the tip with new tab.

    @EricLaw: Will check RC build when available for issue #3. Thanks for confirming it is probably no longer an issue. For issue #4 if I open the PDF from my Desktop using Acrobat reader and click on the printer icon the dialog opens fine.

    If I open the document in IE8 using and then click on the Acrobat Reader printer icon within IE8 the dialog which displays isn’t correct. The following is what the dialog looks like. (

    I hope that helps.

  223. harley says:

    i wish theyd get the thing going so i can see if it is going to work with my mcafee security  crap.

  224. Jagannath says:

    @EricLaw(MSFT) In IE the progress bar goes on forever but I never the login page. But, for the other browsers, I get the login page immediately. At home, I don’t have any problems with Live Mesh on IE.

  225. islamisohbet says:

    Agreed I really hope the IE team has better things to do than make the browser pretty when you shrink it to a tiny-weeny size.

  226. islam says:

    I saw as you said that #1 IE takes much longer to start up, even with Superfetch in Vista. #2 Open a new, empty tab. Again: much slower. #3-#99 Left out.

  227. RickB says:

    Simple summary:  Lack of SVG and/or Canvas support SEVERELY limits the applicability of IE8.  Here’s why:  YOU CANNOT DRAW A CURVE OR A CIRCLE IN HTML!!!  Get it?  It really is that simple.  To do any kind of meaningful graphical UI you and up being required to use plug-ins (Flash, Silverlight, Java, etc) or a proprietary markup language (VML).  SVG and VML are close enough that it is RIDICULOUS that Microsoft could not have invested *at most* 2 developer years to add SVG Tiny or SVG Basic support (the SVG spec does not require full implementation of all of SVG to achieve compliance).  Alternatively, the browser could support the Canvas object, but I prefer the declarative nature of SVG plus the scriptability that can be achieved, and it is consistent with Microsoft’s support for XML-based markup models.

    The problem with plug-ins (e.g. Silverlight) is that they take a LOOOOOONG time to find their way to the corporate desktop, for a variety of practical and organizational reasons.  For whatever reason, it is easier to get a new browser onto the desktop as long as there are security or other good reasons to do so.

    In any case, I think IE8 was a blown opportunity…

  228. erictee says:

    I have found a problem regarding the tab-grouping feature in IE8. Let say I have 2 tab groups, A and B in yellow and blue colour respectively. If I close one tab in B group, B group will disappear, but when I open another tab from the page, the colour of B group sometimes is same as the A group (yellow). This problem not occur everytime because when I reproduce the step, B group will become another colour.Should’t the colour of each tab group is different?

  229. Stefan says:

    Is this a wishlist? I will switch back to IE if a free adblock plugin is available. Thanks in advance! 🙂

  230. steve_web says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]

    I’ve filed a new bug in Connect for the z-index issue:

    It is actually a smaller bug than in the title, only affecting certain elements (TABLE is the only one I have tested thus far)

    A test case is attached.



  231. Francis says:

    Why is SVG important?…

    It creates dynamic imagery, seamlessly from XML data. The XML DOM and SVG DOM can be easily linked to literally change data to images.

    IE7 uses the Adobe SVG Viewer plugin, within an embed, to nicely create the above dynamic imagery.

    Adobe has planned to discontinue support for its SVG Viewer in January. IE8 should be finalized sometime shortly thereafter.

    MS can probably license this robust ActiveX component, and easily bundle it in the finished IE8 package.

    This has presented a unique opportunity for MS, providing a seamless means of initiating SVG support in the IE8 browser. Although

    not ‘native’, it surely will create a supremely positive message to SVG developers who want to employ SVG in the IE environment.

  232. i3cx9f says:

    how do i completely uninstall internet explorer. I love firefox only, and i dont want to see any traces of internet explorer. Any help available?

  233. i3cx9f says:

    how do i completely uninstall internet explorer. I love firefox only, and i dont want to see any traces of internet explorer. I have googled this problem but no luck and I thought guys who made it may help me. Any help available?

  234. Brian Hughes says:

    How are you guys going to receive data on which websites aren’t rendering correctly in IE8?

    Are you exclusively taking reports from the Report a Webpage Problem?

    I thought it would be nice if you guys would do that, and then also, for those who opt in to a Customer Experience Improvement Program also send the sites when you click the button to go into compatibility view.

    It would be a lot easier, and would give you more feedback. 🙂 You probably would run the risk of false positives when people go into compatibility sometimes when it’s not needed. However, big trouble sites would probably bubble up over time.

    Just a suggestion! I can’t wait for the next beta. At this stage, I’m hoping for more perf improvements and some other tweaks to IE8’s rendering engine so I won’t have to go into compatibility view as much.

    One bug I would love to be fixed is on a forum I go to that uses vBulletin, avatars and some other data does not show up on the left side.


    Look at the site with/without compatibility view and you will see a difference (at least in B2).

  235. Rob says:


    Free plugin IE7pro also contains adblock capabilities.

  236. Alex says:


    Watch what you assume, eh?  I don’t care about full SVG support.  Rudimentary SVG would be a huge step in the right direction.  Firefox, Opera, and Safari do it.  SVG support is hardly a slippery slope.  Aim for feature parity.

    With those non-IE browsers I can easily generate and use scalable graphics (think charts and stuff that I’d want to display on a 42" TV or a laptop) with free, non-proprietary tools that integrate with the webapp framework I’m using.  The resulting graphics won’t even require plugins.

    Maybe I want to reuse those charts in a PDF.  No problem because the tools I’m using to generate PDFs will handily parse SVG.  Yay for code reuse.

    Unfortunately, the customer has mandated IE be supported… so, as usual, a different solution must be found for the IE users.

    And if you haven’t seen the "IE fires an onload event for every GIF frame" bugs or the "IE only animates GIFs in some modes"… yeah.

    Dustin:  Who cares?  If the XML parser is holding IE back, it should be fixed.  I can guarantee you that end-users don’t care one whit about the why, they care about the end result.

    Ditto with developers.  Certainly I don’t care why so much time has to be spent to implement IE6 only, then IE7 only, and now a bunch of IE8 only fixes.  I don’t care about why IE6, FF2/3, and Safari do one thing with regard to content negotiation, while IE7 does something entirely different.  I care that IE7 does something different, and that I have to spend time working around it.

    All of the hand waving about how horrible XHTML, the canvas tag, or SVG are is besides the point.  The competition has come to some manner of consensus, IE should too.

    SVG wouldn’t be bloat at all.  Take a look at Google Maps on IE.  To implement the various overlays (lines and polygons) on Firefox/Safari/Opera they use SVG.  On IE, Google falls back to VML (ugh) and performance suffers.

    But hey, we get pretty colored tab bars.  That totally makes IE8 a must use!

  237. SoftEngi says:

    Are there any plans to bring back the inline AutoComplete for the AddressBar?

    Instead of improving it in next version, it has completely been removed(replaced). Selecting an address from the suggestions listed in the drop down list requires many more key presses than the previous behavior.

  238. Stifu says:

    I’ll add my vote for SVG support (even though it obviously won’t be there for IE8). It’s downright insulting that the IE team still hasn’t officially stated its position on the matter, despite the fact thousands of people have been asking for it for years.

    So, some people are worried about "bloat", heh? Then feel free to take out VML, glowing fonts, and all other worthless proprietary stuff. It’s not like developers use them anyway.

  239. SVG says:

    "If you look around at browsers, you’ll find that most of them support scalable vector graphics," Berners-Lee said. "I’ll let you figure out which one has been slow in supporting SVG."

    In case you don’t know who is Tim Berners-Lee or what his credentials are.

    MS, forever holding back the web with non standard, closed proprietary vendor lock-in bs like Silvercrap that no one wants.

  240. SVG says:

    "I fully understand why it has been suggested that Microsoft may in fact be purely acting in a manner to slow down the group and the development of the CSS platform — it seems easy to come to the conclusion that you change your arguments every other month to counter whatever proposal is put forward."

    Good old EEE? Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. We all know that playbook.,_extend_and_extinguish

    "5. Commit to interoperability. It is important to ensure that Microsoft remains committed to supporting web standards, even beyond Acid2 and Acid3. If two or more major web browsers, in official shipping versions, add standards-related functionality that’s generally considered useful to the progress of the web, and described in a publicly available specification, Microsoft must add the same functionality."

    Or Microsoft has forgotten their own Interoperability Principles and pledge? Here’s a quick reminder.

    Of course, if non compliance with open web standards supported by the other 3 major browser engine means unbundling IE from Windows by EU Commission ruling, that is quite acceptable too.

  241. @steve_web

    Can you visit

    Regards, Gérard

  242. hks says:

    The slow loading of new tabs in Vista seems to be related to Protected Mode.

    I’ve an XP machine that runs IE8 with the same add-ons and it opens tabs almost instantly, whereas on Vista, it took 2 to 3 seconds.

    However, if I turn off IE8’s protected mode, the tabs open instantly.

    Is there something in Protected Mode that slowed the loading of add-ons?

  243. steve_web says:

    @Gerard, thanks I’ll look into your test cases, and refine one of my own (and upload/send you a link).

  244. @EricLaw: I read the "@Mike: Spellcheck is available from at least 2 add-ons (IESpell and IE7Pro)." in one of your earlier posts and feel you need to offer something better.

    IESpell doesn’t offer in-line spellchecking and I found IE7Pro to give problems so I stopped using it.

    IMHO that leaves IE8/7 severely lacking in spellcheck area.

  245. lenard says:

    Has anyone got any profiling tools that will tell me what is happening during the 10 seconds it takes for IE to load up a new tab?

    I have my settings set to open "about:tabs" in the new tab (not because I want it, but because it is the only entry point into private browsing… typing "about:inprivate" doesn’t work)

    In any other browser, I can type [CTRL] + ‘T’ and then say ‘IE Blog’ which will either take me straight to this site, or to a Google search with the IE Blog as the first link.

    However in IE7 and more so in IE8 I can’t.

    I have to wait the full 10 seconds for IE to open a new tab – and FULLY render or when I start typing I get some mish mash url like ‘ie blogabout:tabs’

    I don’t have any addons installed other than Flash/Acrobat which shouldn’t need to do anything when opening a new tab (without any web content)

    I know there has been many bugs reported on how slow this new tab is but I’d like to narrow down the biggest culprit so that I can file a bug report that might get this fixed.



  246. mhinkle says:

    We’d like to know the date of the release candidate (if known)for our development testing. It looks like first quarter or possibly early second Q? but do you have a date yet?

  247. jerry says:

    Found an odd issue.  I normally develop in Firefox but now that IE8 is closer to being on the standards track I’ve started testing stuff out in it.

    I use bookmarklets a lot because they are just so darn powerful/helpful but IE8 makes them very hard to use.

    If I load a local page that has no JavaScript on it then click my bookmarklet I get the yellow security bar warning me about the dangers of ActiveX and all that mess which I then dismiss because it is just harmless JavaScript.

    However IE doesn’t actually run my script… I have to re-click the same bookmarklet to execute the code.

    Are all these extra steps really necs.?

    Especially since to add the bookmarklet in the first place I had to jump through hoops to add it (I can’t drag a link to my toolbar, I have to right click the link, then choose bookmark, then confirm that the bookmarklet isn’t an evil script).

    Is there an option to turn off these annoying warnings?


  248. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @mhinkle: As noted in the above blog post, the Release Candidate will come out in 1Q 2009.  The exact date has not yet been set.

    @lenard: You can enter Private Browsing in many different ways (most of which are available in Beta-2, I believe): 1> CTRL+SHIFT+P, 2> Tools Menu > InPrivate Browsing, 3> Safety toolbar button > InPrivate Browsing, 4> Tools toolbar button > InPrivate Browsing, 5> Start > Run > iexplore.exe -private

    As for the slowness in starting new tabs, can you please run IE with add-ons disabled ( and verify you still see the problem?  I’ve never seen the new tab page take more than 500 ms with addons disabled.  

    Note that you could alternatively type the address in the ~current~ tab or search bar, then hit ALT+ENTER to open the new page in a new tab.

  249. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @jerry: The feature you’re having problems with is called "Local Machine Lockdown" and there are good security reasons that it exists; however, a full explanation would take a lot more space than this comment box.  You can disable the feature if you’d like by clicking Tools / Internet Options / Advanced, and check the box near the bottom labeled "Allow active content to run from my computer."  However, I encourage you to reset that checkbox before browsing untrusted Internet sites.  

    The workaround that does not require a configuration change is to either view pages on a HTTP server, or modify your locally stored HTML pages such that they contain a "Mark of the Web" for about:internet; see // to learn more.

  250. Ray Ramirez says:

    can someone direct me to the posting for bugs found.

  251. Ray Ramirez says:

    Whew finally got it to work. I must say Norton internet security does not like beta2 on my laptop. I tried 4 times lastnight to install but only to find that norton had shut down everything . I had to uninstall Norton Internet security 2007. Does anyone have info or a link where I can understand what happened. This did not happen on my home PC and I have the same Norton version on my PC as I have on my laptop

  252. Tim says:

    EricLaw – I’ve been using IE8B2 for quite a while and have been very happy with it.  However, there is one troubling thing I’ve noticed about some of your comments.  When people asked for a download manager and spell checking you stated that there were several good add-ons that accomplished both.  However, every time people talk about an IE issue, you tell them to run with add-ons disabled.  So, what is the position of the team, fill our gaps with add-ons or stop using add-ons?  I realize you comment about disabling add-ons is to troubleshoot issues, but if people fill gaps with add-ons it sounds like they are destined to face perf issues eventually.

  253. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Tim: Let me clarify that my suggestion is that users encountering problems try running without add-ons in order to ensure that add-ons are not the source of the problems. Very very often, add-ons are the source of problems.  

    However, you seem to have jumped to the incorrect conclusion that this means that somehow ALL add-ons are bad.  The reality is that there are many great add-ons available that are both stable and performant.  My favorites are here: //  I run with the Mouse Gestures add-on, for instance, and cannot imagine using a browser without it.

    In many cases, users who are encountering problems are running with unwanted add-ons that offer no real value (e.g. CD burning plugins), or running older versions for which newer, more stable versions are available.  If they remove the unwanted add-ons, they find that they have a faster, more stable browser.

    Note that this isn’t unique to IE or even browsers in general: You can download all sorts of utilities to your system (Windows, Mac, Unix, etc) that can either be really useful, or a source of nearly endless misery.

  254. HB says:

    I’m always amazed at reading just the pure hatred of web developers towards IE on this blog.

    I’d be interested to see how so many of the "experts" on here would handle the problems that the IE team face in making a forward progressing browser, while still supporting countless, poorly written custom web applications for corporations all over the world. Some people seem to forget that the flexability of IE has been abused by self proclaimed "web programmers" (and still is if you were to see the application that a vendor is trying to push onto us now).

    The IE Team is in a lose-lose battle on all fronts, but they are working hard to move the web forward all while not bringing internal corporate applications to a halt. Not bad if you ask me…

    … now, while they just didn’t make IE6 a separate download, I’ll never know… (I know there was technology claims, but I’m sure it could have been made to work somehow)

  255. billybob says:

    @HB : Just try to code a Web 2.0 application or anything more complicated than HTML4 and you will see why people hate IE so much.

    As many people have pointed out (including yourself), the best solution would be to create a standalone version of IE for all the intranets and bank websites that will just not update, and then either create a new standards compliant renderer, or use an existing one.  It would actually be better security-wise too.

    Trying to incorporate the needs of ancient intranets and new websites seems to be causing a lot more problems than it is solving.  At the end of the day, nobody will be happy.  Corporate users will stick to IE6 like their business depends on it and anyone wanting a modern web browser will go for any of the other alternatives.  Web developers will be even more unhappy as each version of IE introduces new incompatibilities.  We just do not have this with a new release of Firefox or Safari.

  256. Tim says:

    EricLaw – I wasn’t trying to conclude that all add-ons are bad.  In fact, I would agree that add-ons are an essential part of a healthy web browser.  I was merely trying to make the point that as you depend on more and more add-ons, your browsing performance may begin to decline.  In particular, using add-ons to fill core/frequently used browser capabilities make this issue spring to light even sooner.

    In addition, you cite that some add-ons offer no real value.  While the ability to Manage Add-ons has gotten easier, I’d argue that your average user (say, my Father-in-law) hasn’t really been helped since they don’t understand the impact of add-ons let alone know how to find the dialog.

  257. lenard says:

    Wow that did speed things up dramatically.  It still takes a second or two but it is much faster.

    Ok so as Tim said what now? There’s no way that I’m going to run a browser without addons, so where can I tweak the performance?

    If the issue is directly related to certain extensions, has MSFT contacted the developers to get them to tweak their code?

    AFAIK if I open a tab to about:blank or about:tabs I shouldn’t be loading up anything other than the tiniest of hooks for extensions.  There is no DOM to deal with etc.

    I’d be curious to see a list of performance for each of the top 20 extensions.

  258. HB says:


    I understand that IE6 doesn’t represent the web in it’s current state. I’ve written plenty of applications that have had a feature or two dropped because of backwards compatibility.

    Thus why I brought up, and still think, a stand-alone IE6 browser would be in the best interests of the web.

    Microsoft has many talented, professional developers that could make that happen. I think they’ve done well to take IE as far as it’s gone, but I don’t think they can win this battle. If they had the chance to start from scratch, they could develop something incredible.

    The phrase ‘IE’ musters up too much nerd rage. It’s time, IMO, to move on and start from scratch.

  259. HB says:

    And when I say ‘nerd rage’, I mean us as in developers…

    My father-in-law doesn’t give a crap what his browsers name is, it is "the internet" to him…

  260. Tihiy says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]

    It does not make difference if new tab page is about:blank.

    I narrowed down slowdown to Sun Java BHO. It makes noticeable difference when enabled (although absolutely clean system is still slow for me).

    Is it possible for IE to check which BHO is affecting performance? Like, record initialization / event catch time and mark add-on as ‘slow’. It won’t help me, but can help in bad performance situations, like Google Chrome does.

  261. billybob says:

    "I’m always amazed at reading just the pure hatred of web developers towards IE on this blog."


    "I understand that IE6 doesn’t represent the web in it’s current state…. If they had the chance to start from scratch, they could develop something incredible"

    So, you do understand why there is hatred.  It costs us time, money and features, not to mention sheer frustration and annoyance.  Yet – if they stopped trying to dominate the web (or whatever it is they are trying to do), they COULD write something which would make our lives easier and the web a better place.

    INSTEAD, internal politics trumps better web and more productive developers, and I think thats what people get angry about.  Our time and money is directly sacrificed for theirs.

    Why would people not be angry?  Especially after being told that we should add all manner of headers just to make our sites render, then being told "Actually don’t bother".  Then to be told, "we love the community, and really value you" followed by bugs being closed or just plain ignored.

    What about features that developers care about?  Just look at any discussion (or lack of) about embedded fonts, the new headers, SVG or Canvas.  Developers are normally told their opinion is wrong and feature X will go ahead as planned.

    I think we have come to the state where most developers do not think their opinion will even be heard so they just use this site to vent frustration at whatever IE bug they had to workaround today, rather than try to be productive.

  262. Hey guys, I dont know how all to put this, but I’m a beta tester for Win_Server_2008_Enterprise, and one of the biggest things that I find hard to cope with is IE in Server 08. I tried to go to any website, and its all blocked. I try to download something, and its all blocked, and it gets really annoying to the point that I almost gave up on using IE! XD  But.. I think that you need to give the user more control over there security levels, especially just being able to turn everything off for a moment, and browse the internet freely, w/o having to worry or fret over IE being in your face! 🙂 Thanks guys, and hope that this IE8 is gonna be way better than IE7. Keep up the good work! 😉

  263. Chris says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT],

    When IE8 gets RTW will we get a list of the current bugs within it and workarounds or are you going to let us figure out the work for you?

    Cause honestly everyone on here knows and I bet you sure as hell do that there will be just as many bugs within IE8 as there were in IE7 and IE6.

    Ooo Ooo but you fixed [insert bug here] and that I guess deserves a job well done, ha.

    Quit being smug. You have become a hypocrite with your comments.

  264. HB says:


    You’re an example of what I’m talking about. You view their efforts in improving IE as "web domination". It angers you that they don’t do enough all while it angers you that they do anything to prolong the life of IE. Lose-lose.

    I’m not going to engage in a blog argument with you about the appropriate reaction to IE8. That is entirely up to the people that use it. I’m just giving my +1 to the IE team for keeping all these worthless, vendor applications intact while moving their web compliance efforts forward, even if it is just inches at a time.

    I agree with you that IE is a lost cause. You can’t be 100% backwards compatible with IE6, because many of IE’s forgiving "features" are really issues that should be repaired. As I said before, time to move on.

  265. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @lenard, @Tihiy: You can see how long each add-on takes to start in the "Load Time" column of Manage Addons.  While we’ve previously written about how to build faster add-ons ( the unfortunate reality is that many ISVs don’t follow best-practices.

    Microsoft has been in touch with the makers of popular add-ons about their performance, but certainly there’s nothing stopping users from contacting add-on vendors to request that they make faster versions.  (When Microsoft says "Hey, ISV, make a faster add-on" the ISV can just yawn and say "yeah, maybe later."  When ~users~ contact the ISV and say "Hey, ISV, I’m uninstalling your add-on until you make a faster version" the ISV is more likely to listen.)

    @StarBase Computer Tech: If you’re using Win2k8 as a workstation, then you’ll probably want to disable the "Enhanced Security Configuration" feature that is the source of the prompts you see (normally, we don’t advise browsing on Servers, but you’re just using a server OS as a workstation).  You can disable the ESC feature on the Win2k8 Server Configuration Manager dialog.

  266. jason says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT] – you are right, users moaning is much more effective than a gentle corporate request. Thus;

    Dear Microsoft;

    Based on the (incomplete) load time column for Add-ons in IE8 it has become painfully obvious that the addon that is ruining my performance the most is "Microsoft Research" – I personally have no idea what this addon does (AFAIK) I have never used it.  Since it is created by the same MFGR that creates the browser it lives in, and is installed by default, I think that it would be highly advantageous for MSFT to either (a) disable/uninstall this addon, and or fix the performance of it so that it loads at least 10x faster.

    EricLaw [MSFT] on the IE Blog posted a link to help you fix any performance issues with your addon.  Please follow this link for information.

    Thank you

    Concerned User

  267. SethMcL [MSFT] says:

    @SoftEngi: We are implementing some address bar improvements which will decrease the time it takes to select a URL. Stay tuned for the RC release to see these changes.

  268. hAl says:

    Microsoft research add on is a MS Office add-on. When activated you get a references pane for looking up information.

    Fairly useless.

    It would be relavant to know which Office versions you use to determine which version of that reasearc addon software causes the slow opening of the new tabs.

  269. Saad says:

    certainty IE cant replace Firefox or Opera for Professional users. whenever we have to use IE we will open Maxthon !

  270. Saad says:

    certainty IE cant sub of Firefox or Opera for Professional users. whenever we have to use IE we will open Maxthon !

  271. Mitch 74 says:

    I guess the vitriol reached quite a high level here; not all of it is unwarranted, and I’m the first to curse IE for lost productivity.


    IE 8 adds some incredibly useful features, such as (at last) powerful debugging tools (which is quite a leap from no debugging tool at all).

    Now, however, several features could be implemented as add-ons, which could be developed outside of the IE team, but which should be kickstarted and easily loaded from IE.

    For example, Firefox doesn’t come with any extension by default; it doesn’t even come with Adobe Flash. However, loading Flash is easy (there’s a prompt for it as soon as Flash content is found on page), and the extension browser takes care of the rest.

    Why not do the same thing for SVG and canvas? Why not start, say, an open source project for SVG support, based on rsvg, with some proof-of-concept code to allow easy integration with IE, and set as default downloading location for the plugin when an SVG tag is found?

    This way, IE can still be distributed using the MS EULA, the plugin can be developed independently, and it reduces the amount of SVG renderers on the market.

    That’s already being done somewhat for canvas (but the IE team didn’t go out of its way to allow easy downloading and installation) and would work better with active participation. Making it an independent extension also reduces risks of license cross-contamination – after all, if it works for Office and the OOXML – ODF converter plugin, it should work for IE too.

  272. jason says:

    @hAl: I have 3 WinXP boxes. 2 running IE7, 1 running IE8 Beta2.

    On the 2 running IE7, it is Office 2003, on the 1 running IE8, it is Office 2007.

    In all 3 cases – disabling the Microsoft Research Toolbar caused a massive performance gain when opening new tabs.

    I would HIGHLY recommend to ANYONE running IE to immediately, without hesitation, disable this addon.

    If someone can tell me what "good" purpose it serves – then great.  Otherwise this is just pure Bloatware [TM] and should be removed.

    PS Does anyone know if it can be uninstalled? (safely?).  I’m fine if it just lives there disabled, but it would be much cleaner if I just removed it from my system.

  273. Office BHO SUCKS says:

    Disabling add-ons advice is useless, you can see it’s still loaded in the Manage Add-on window eventhough it says Disabled and IE still slow as hell when launching or opening a new tab.

    Run Regedit, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerExtensions and carefully check all the CLSIDs there. Delete only the stuff installed by Office 2003/2007 like Research, Send to OneNote, Groove blah blah.

    Another place where Browser Helper Objects(BHO) hides is in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerBrowser Helper Objects, go through the CLSIDs there also and delete anything installed by Office 2003/2007 like Research, Send to OneNote, Groove blah blah.

    YOU WILL LOSE ALL THE FUNCTIONALITY provided by the crappy Office BHOs, but at least now IE will load faster. Gotta love the Office team and their useless BHO slowing down your load times.

    A better solution? Dump IE and switch to Firefox  or Chrome.

  274. Tihiy says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]:

    Oh right, i was so dumb so i didn’t scrolled right. Java adds a whopping 0.6 s to tab open time!

    Thank you for clarifying this.

  275. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @OfficeBHO: I think you misunderstand: Add-ons marked "Disabled" are not loaded by IE and should have no performance impact.

    Add-ons like "Send to OneNote" plug into extensibility points where there is no performance impact until you actually use them.

    The Groove add-ons aren’t actually intended for use inside IE (they’re meant for the Windows Explorer Shell) and can be safely disabled for a small perf win.

    @jason: With the Research sidebar, you can click View > Explorer Bars > Research to get the Office research sidebar.  In most cases, it’s not very useful, but if your corporation has customized it with additional search engines, it might have some value.  

    You can uninstall the Research sidebar using Office Setup if you’d like.

    @Mitch74: I think you might be missing the point.  No one needs the IE team’s blessing, permission, or investment to make an SVG or Canvas add-on (open-sourced or not) that runs inside IE.  The Flash guys don’t have some sort of special deal with IE that lets them install on first-use– The IE extensibility architecture provides all of that, and the Adobe Flash guys simply plug in using the methods described on MSDN.  

    Statements like "the IE team didn’t go out of its way to allow easy downloading and installation" don’t really make a lot of sense.  It’s would be just as true to say "the IE team didn’t go out of its way to allow easy downloading and installation ***of Adobe Flash***" but you’ll notice that the Flash team has no trouble at all getting installed when used.  The only reason it’s easier to install Flash than the canvas plugin is that the Flash guys actually follow the instructions on MSDN and signed their code.

  276. brez says:

    reorganizing website in favorite bar and tab is just awkward. Can it slide automatically Just like the chrome tabs or Windows 7 reorganizing taskbar it’s much smoother and easier that way.

  277. 123 says:

    In Beta 2, you are unable to right click a favorite (in the undocked favorites menu) and delete the bookmark.

  278. dominick says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT] / @Mitch74: I think the trick with the SVG bit, is that yes, any of us could write an extension, but none of us know if Microsoft does intend to write their own native one and if so by when.

    If Microsoft had a roadmap that indicated "yes, for IE9 MS plans to ship IE with native SVG support" there would be little point in writing our own plugin (the old Adobe one works fine, for now)

    What is frustrating is that we don’t know when IE plans to natively support SVG, or if it will EVER support SVG natively.

    Which in turn holds developers back from using SVG because a lot of their end users might not have it.

    I dream of the day that I visit the IE Blog and the post topic is:

    The ROADMAP for release [X] of Internet Explorer.

    That would be the day that developers would be sooooooooooooooooooooo happy.

    Because then, and only then, would we have any clue as to Microsoft’s direction with IE.

  279. Stephen says:

    We know IE8 doesn’t have SVG.  If the IE team stays on their stated roadmap of a new IE version every 18-24 months, that means that the earliest that IE would support SVG is Q1 2011, which isn’t exactly right around the corner.  Even if IE9 does include SVG, it will be ~2012 before it has >50% marketshare, if history is any guide.

    I think the amusing thing here is that if you look closely at the other browsers’ built-in SVG support, it’s actually not very good (  SVG is an incredibly complicated spec, which some of the fanboys here conveniently ignore when they imply that adding SVG would be "easy" or suggest that Microsoft is just "lazy."  

    I think the interesting question in all of this mess is why Adobe is pulling support for their SVG add-on.  THAT is a far more interesting move than the fact that IE still doesn’t support it.

  280. William J. Edney says:

    Stephen –

    The answer to why Adobe is pulling their SVG plugin (and haven’t actually worked on it in years) is quite simple:

    They blew $3B or so a few years back on a pig-in-a-poke named "Flash", and they’ve been struggling ever since to justify that purchase. In a 180 degree turn, it is now absolutely *not* in their best interest to support a graphics format that is:

    – Standardized under the W3C patent policy

    – A non-binary format that can easily be generated by other vendors and tools that Adobe doesn’t control and can charge obscene amounts of money for.

    – Is increasingly getting support in browsers, though we’re about 5 years late here – even amongst non-MS browsers.

    – Plays well with other XML tool chains, such as XSLT

    All of this makes it easier to have powerful 2D graphics that are not tied to any particular company, whether that be Adobe with Flash or Microsoft with XAML.

    Adobe is much too busy trying to shoehorn Flash into application areas it was never intended (‘rich applications’) to spend any energy, money, etc. on anything that could be construed as competition to Flash. Too much financial (and, more importantly, political) capital expended by Adobe execs to do anything else.


    – Bill

  281. pete says:

    @Stephen – thats an awesome chart and breakdown much appreciated!

    For me my SVGs are fairly basic… vectors, fills, text, and links… the animation stuff is cool, but I don’t need it – Thus the current Firefox/Safari support is plenty.  The Elephant is my biggest concern.

    Its too bad the Adobe plugin wasn’t open source, that would be a great project to jump on in the absence of native IE support.

  282. lrbabe says:

    Any chance to get dynamic vml creation support back?

    This is a major backward compatibility issue, isn’t it ?

  283. William J. Edney says:

    Irbabe –

    I and others have been poking MS folks about the fact that, if they’re not gonna support SVG, they could at least bug fix VML. I’ll be watching for this in the IE8 RC due in Q1.

    In addition to not being able to dynamic creation of VML elements (in IE8 "strict standards" mode), there were other bugs that actually got introduced in VML support for *IE7*. It’d sure be nice to get those fixed as well.

    Eric, if you or other MS folks need specifics about these bugs, I can go dig them up. Unfortunately, I no longer have ‘write’ access to the Connect database since it got locked down to ‘beta testers’ or whatever.


    – Bill

  284. Dave says:

    Obviously the final release for IE8 will still have *some* issues outstanding – many will indeed be discovered after release.  

    What I’d *really* love to see, in addition to MS fixing the security bugs that are discovered, they also fix rendering bugs with any weekly updates.

    The number of outstanding rendering bugs for IE7 is colossal (172 listed on, so PLEASE Microsoft don’t make us wait until yet another version is written before any IE8 rendering bugs are addressed!

  285. Mitch 74 says:

    @EricLaw: sorry, you obviously took my comment as being reproachful – it actually wasn’t, it was a suggestion.

    I was thinking something could be made inside IE that would cumulate Mozilla’s method of downloading, installing and loading Netscape plugins (like Flash is being dealt with currently) which means: prompt, one-click download, license display, install (or update): there, it’s active on the page.

    In short, if canvas, SVG, whatever can’t be supported right inside IE’s source code trunk, it could be done in independent code repositories, under a different license (which would allow code reuse, as there are enough free SVG parsers and renderers in existence); I’m just not sure embedding these in ActiveX controls is the best solution, although IE8’s better thread, memory and authorization management may actually make it work.

    Helping it along inside IE would be adding the installation source’s security signature part of the IE list of pre-approved certificates (that would remove quite a few security prompts: "IE blocked some content from this page" => allow, page reloads, "Is this plugin’s origin valid?" => yes, "Are you sure you want to install?" => Yes, "the plugin is signed by ImtheMaker" => Allow, then license, install, refresh – note the extras); the IE team would need to negotiate with existing projects to start said IE branches…

    This may be the way to provide much asked for functionality, without having to write everything from scratch and without forcing users to jump through hoops.

    I would guess that for now SVG support is waiting for proper XML support within IE (SVG being XML, I bet you guys are thinking about using msxml6 or later as the parser, and then extend the VML renderer to make it cover SVG too; you could do that, but then you’d need to fix VML first, judging from other comments).

    Which would create a different SVG engine, which you (the IE team) would have to maintain, and get flak on because:

    – (external) it wouldn’t match other existing engines;

    – (external) bugs wouldn’t be fixed for years;

    – (internal) it could be used by MS Office if it ever supported SVG instead of (explicitly deprecated by MS Office team in writing the ECMA OXML proposal) VML (say, in ODF 1.2), but the Silverlight team would have a problem with it.

    What say you?

    Heck, you could simply have a contract with the Mozilla Foundation, or with Opera Software, or with Apple (easier as it’s already the case for Flash) to develop an IE version of their existing browser’s SVG Tiny modules, with the same terms the MS Office team gave CleverAge – for business peace of mind.

    There’s this pesky Acid3 thingy, too.

  286. Stifu says:

    Dave: rendering bug fixes in weekly updates would be a bad thing, IMO. No other browser vendor does that, either.

    It’d be bad because not all users update their system, and you’d then have a wide variety of IE8. It’d be nearly impossible to serve them all working pages…

    IE6 and 7 are quite buggy, indeed, but at least they’re all the same everywhere, and you know how they behave.

  287. hAl says:


    Why would anyone look at IE7 rendering issues fir the IE8 betas ?

    Most of those are already solved in IE8.

  288. larry says:

    @hAl re:"Most are already solved in IE8"

    You must have a special version of IE8Beta2 that we don’t have.  The version I have is still very beta and is no where near ready for release based on lack of fixed for old IE6/IE7 issues as well as IE8 regressions)

    I don’t care how long IE8 takes to ship, I just hope that the Q1 – 2009 RC1 is considerably fixed up in terms of rendering, JS bug fixes, and UI improvments/fixes.

    If the RC1 is only mildly better than Beta 2 then we are in for lots of trouble.

    We have a status for our clients regarding supported browsers and their stability.  Currently IE8Beta2 is reading 61% stable and has a 3% recommendation for users to upgrade.  We will be updating when the RC1 comes out but until the "recommended" flag hits 85%, none of our users will be upgrading.

    we might update before the release if information about fixes to Beta2 are released before the RC.

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