Well, Internet Explore 8 is not even barely out the door and there has already been talk about Internet Explorer 9... The fact of the matter is that IE8 is not out the door at all. Currently, the browser designed as the successor of Internet Explorer 7 is available exclusively and internally over at Microsoft. And that's pretty much it. The Redmond company, courtesy of IE General Manager, Dean Hachamovitch, and IE Architect, Chris Wilson, have offered a glimpse into the work done to make IE8 standards compliant and to increase the interoperability of the product as much as possible. So, at this point, we have just got a taste of IE8, it's not yet time to forget about the browser.
But nonetheless, in an interview done with Hachamovitch and Wilson for Channel 9, there is a mention of Internet Explorer 9 and an apparent codename Triton. I will have to disappoint all you readers that actually think Triton is the codename dot IE9. As I have said, IE8 is still dogfooded at Microsoft in early development stages, even though it has been cooking for almost a year now. It would be nothing short of absurd to think that Microsoft has already started building IE9. Trition is nothing more than a small error.
You will see a few seconds down the road that the presenter actually corrects himself and mentions Trident. Now, Triton makes absolutely no sense at all, but Trident on the other hand... Now, where have I heard that one before? It's rather simple actually, Trident is the name of the layout engine for Internet Explorer 7 and also for older versions, and apparently for Internet Explorer 8. In order to better understand this, you would have to look at Mozilla, the layout engine for the Firefox 3.0/ Gran Paradiso open source browser is Gecko 1.9. I think it's pretty clear now.
But, what about Internet Explorer 9 and Windows 7? Hmm... Microsoft plans to offer the first beta version for IE8 by mid 2008, with more details on the browser at MIX08 in early March. The final IE8 could drop by the end of this year, but also in early 2009, considering the two-year release timeframe that Microsoft has now imposed for the next versions of IE. Taking into consideration this and the fact that Windows 7 is planned for 2010, it is clear that there will be a synchronization between the next version of IE and the next iteration of Windows. Of course, it is all speculation on my part. At this point in time, Microsoft might not even be planning IE9, it could very well release an IE8.x along with Windows 7. It's all up in the air for now...