Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8 Beta

I am rather suprised at how quickly MS have managed to get IE8 beta out the door, but i received news today that it is available to download now. I am currently on my MacBook so can’t test the beta just yet, but intend to get home this evening and give it a whirl.

You may or may not know this but to get IE8 to actually render pages correctly developers will have to do a whole hosts of user-agent sniffing or style sheet selectors, you can find example code of this below…

function getInternetExplorerVersion()
// Returns the version of Internet Explorer or a -1
// (indicating the use of another browser)
var rv = -1; // Return value assumes failure
if (navigator.appName == 'Microsoft Internet Explorer')
var ua = navigator.userAgent;
var re  = new RegExp("MSIE ([0-9]{1,}[\.0-9]{0,})");
if (re.exec(ua) != null)
rv = parseFloat( RegExp.$1 );
return rv;

function checkVersion()
var msg = "You're not using Internet Explorer.";
var ver = getInternetExplorerVersion();
if ( ver > -1 )
if ( ver >= 7.0 )
msg = "You're using Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8.
I should send a quirks or strict mode document."
msg = "You should upgrade your copy of Internet Explorer.";
alert( msg );

It seems to me that every time MS do something good they end up shooting themselves in the foot by insisting that every page on the net needs to be supported to IE6 standards. I see it like this, make users upgrade so us developers don’t have to code for ie6, 7, 8 and then proper standards compliant browsers such as Firefox, Opera and Safari.

IE8 Beta

You can get the beta from

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