Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 now slated for August

Citing heavy customer feedback, Microsoft officials as high up as Bill Gates himself revealed today that the next public beta of IE8 won't be going home with Tech·Ed attendees this year.

Though the beta roadmap for Microsoft's next release of Internet Explorer has never been quite clear, one of the key "takeaways" from Bill Gates' keynote address at Tech·Ed 2008 in Orlando this morning -- other than this week's pending release of Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 -- is the fact that testers and developers won't get a chance to see the next public beta of IE8 until late this summer, at the earliest.

The official verification of this news came on the IE developers' blog this morning, using the euphemistic language Microsoft has historically reserved for delaying a product or beta launch...or conveying any other sort of bad news.

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"In addition to the features for developers we showed in IE8 Beta 1, we've been working on great new features for consumers and IT professionals (as well as doing even more cool stuff for developers)," writes Group Program Manager Tony Chor this morning. "I'm happy to announce that we're on track to deliver IE8 Beta 2 this August when you'll get a chance to see what we've been up to in these areas."

Once again, heavy customer feedback was cited as a key reason for the long wait time, though the company was careful to blame the public directly. "We've learned a lot from this first beta - keep the comments coming please!" stated Chor.

There are now two preparatory Web sites for building anticipation around IE8, the newest being a heavily revised Internet Explorer Developer Center on MSDN. This comes in addition to the marketing Web site for users, which continues today to show pictures of IE8 Beta 1.

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