Alpha edition already available?You may get to have a look at the future of the Internet Explorer browser sooner than you might think. Although Microsoft is currently lagging behind Mozilla that has introduced Firefox 3.0 Gran Paradiso since early December 2006, third party sources confirm that the next version of Internet Explorer is already cooking in the Redmond labs.
Internet Explorer 8.0 will be introduced at MIX 07, at the Venitian Hotel in Las Vegas between April 30 and May 2. One of the sessions at MIX 07 is addressed to designers and developers and is entitled: "First Look at the Future of IE."
And if there is any doubt that the future of Internet Explorer is synonymous with IE 8.0, then here is the description of the session: "Hear what Microsoft's browser investments mean to you, and make sure you get a voice in shaping the next version of Internet Explorer. Hear about what features and layout issues are being worked on, and let us know what causes you the most problems."
At the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft has confirmed that the development of Internet Explorer 8.0 has already debuted. Coincidentally, at MIX 06, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates promised that releases of Internet Explorer will be separated by 9 to 12 months maximum. In this context, Internet Explorer 8.0 should be launched towards the final quarter of 2008.
However, the Microsoft representative at CES 2007 pointed out to a period of 18 to 24 months until Internet Explorer 8.0 hits the market. Additionally, speculations reveal that Microsoft will not release an interim Internet Explorer version 7.x, but will rather concentrate its efforts on the development of IE8.
Another interesting supposition regarding IE 8 states that an alpha edition of Internet Explorer 8 has already been deployed in-house at Microsoft.