After over a year since the release of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 in October 2006, and then along with Windows Vista in November 2006 and January 2007, Microsoft has delivered the first beta of its next iteration of Internet Explorer. IE8 Beta 1 is a release aimed at web content developers, but the company has provided full access to the bits, with the promise that Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 will be more user-centric.
IE8 Beta 1 integrates seamlessly with Windows Vista Gold and SP1 RTM, but also with Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows XP SP2 and SP3. With the exception of Windows XP SP3, IE8 Beta 1 will support both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of the operating systems enumerated above. Of course, XP SP3 only comes in x86 and not in a x64 variant. At this time, Microsoft offers XP SP3 RC2, with IE8 Beta 1 installing on the beta of the third and final service pack for XP even though it fails to do the same with pre-release versions of Windows Vista SP1.
Installing the browser is absolutely no problem, with standalone packages tailored for every version of the supported operating systems. Uninstalling it however is a tad more tricky, but not by much. As far as XP SP2, XP SP3 and Windows Server 2003 are concerned, all you have to do is make your way via the Start Menu, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. In the programs list, simply select IE8 Beta 1 and hit remove. As it is the general case that IE8 Beta 1 will upgrade either IE6 or IE7, uninstalling it will simply leave you with the previous version of Internet Explorer.
"The computer will revert to one of the earlier versions of Internet Explorer depending on your scenario. [Either] Internet Explorer 6 + previously installed Internet Explorer 6 security updates or Internet Explorer 7 + previously installed Internet Explorer 7 security updates. In Windows Server 2003, you may be unable to cleanly uninstall Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1. When uninstalled, the Internet Explorer entry might be missing in the following locations: on the Start menu and when you click All Programs on the Start menu. However, the earlier version of Internet Explorer is still present on the system, and you can start it from the Quick Launch Bar or by running Iexplore.exe from the Run command," Microsoft revealed.
As for Vista SP1, Vista RTM and Windows Server 2008, you will have to think of IE8 Beta 1 not necessarily as a program, but as an update. This means that IE8 Beta 1 will not appear in the Uninstall or Change a Program list, but in that of all the updates deployed. Therefore, via Control Panel, Programs, and View Installed Updates, you will see IE8 Beta 1, and here you can click Remove.
IE8 Beta 1 is available for download here.