Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), the next generation of IE web browser and upgrade to IE7 which was released 2 years ago, albeit Microsoft promised more frequently update on IE, has made available to selected few testers on Microsoft Connect website. One thing is for sure though, the general public availability of Internet Explorer 8 Beta for free download will come sooner rather than later, although it’s likely to be slower than FireFox 3, which already in Beta 3.

If you’re the lucky few that been invited for the private beta of IE8 Beta 1, the following email will be in your mailbox:

Greetings from the Internet Explorer Team!

We are nearing the launch of Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and we will be making it available for the general public to download and test. IE8 Beta 1 is focused on the developer community, with the goal of gaining valuable feedback to improve Internet Explorer 8 during the development process. We have identified you as a qualified beta tester and we would like to offer an opportunity to join our limited technical beta program for Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1. Participation in the Technical Beta will enable you to evaluate a common release of Windows Internet Explorer 8, the ability to submit feedback, post bug reports, download software answer surveys on product quality as well as vote on top bugs filed by others from the technical beta program.

This is a very exclusive program, by invitation only. The only way to submit feedback is to enroll in the Windows Internet Explorer 8 Technical Beta program. As such, we would be happy to have your participation. To accept this invitation and to apply to become a member of this program, follow this link: (invitation code has been removed, so the link won’t work).

Follow the steps shown to you by that program to apply to become an active participant. You may be asked to take a survey, or submit other preliminary information. To report a problem or to ask a question, visit the Contact Us page (found at the bottom of every page). We hope to see you in the technical beta!

Best regards.

The Internet Explorer Team

The main features of IE8 including full compatibility with Acid2 Web standard, and availability of 3 modes while browsing for standards support – “Quirks mode” which remains the same, and compatible with current content, “Standards mode” that remains the same as IE7, and compatible with current content, and full standards compliant and support mode. Microsoft is expected to offer sneak peak into IE8 on MIX2008, a Web technology conference sponsored by Microsoft scheduled on 8th March in Las Vegas.

The IE8 Beta 1 has been released for free download.