Internet Explorer 8: “There’s a lot more to come”

ie8betalogo.gifIn a one-on-one interview earlier this month at MIX08 with Matt Lapsen, Microsoft’s Director of Product Management for Internet Explorer, Lapsen emphasized that the features included in the beta 1 release of Internet Explorer 8 are only a subset of what we should expect in the final version of IE 8. Lapsen stated that IE8  will include additional features, yet to be announced, focused on consumer and enterprise users. “In the second beta we’re going to open up some of the consumer features we’ve been working on. WebSlices and Activities are just two of those…. There’s a lot more to come.”

“[At MIX] we made an announcement on beta 1. Beta 1 is for developers and technical enthusiasts,” Lapsen said. “There’s more to come. IE8 is not just a developer release, but it’s what we focused on now.”

Lapsen couldn’t be specific about what the additional features will be, but he specified that some of the “unmet needs” customers are telling him about include performance, speed, ease-of-use, discoverability, and customization. He describes customers as saying, “I’m doing more on the browser everyday… and I need it to be faster, easier, more intuitive. I know there are things out there and I don’t know how to find [them]…. Help me find what I can do. [And] put me in control of what my experience is like”

How long until we see some of the forthcoming features? “We’re going to have another beta release this calendar year. Now, whether this calendar year means in four months or means in eight months — I’m not going to [give an exact] target date. We’re interested in getting feedback right now. The next beta will expand and have more of the consumer and enterprise functionality [we’ll be talking about] then.”

Lapsen also believes that “the relevance of the browser will continue to be extremely high” and stated:

“We’ve got a lot that we haven’t done yet. We can make the user experience richer. There are things we can do with rich Internet apps as well, to work together…. Easy integration into the [browser’s] chrome, for us, is a key thing that we need to do so the browser can continue to be the preferred choice for doing your online experience.”

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