The next (and potentially last) iteration of IE8 has been reviewed many times, demoed across several platforms and anticipated by many for a variety of reasons. Throughout development Microsoft has never given a solid release date for the browser, though there's been a lot of speculation that it would be out sometime this month. Now, however, Microsoft Taiwan representatives are offering a more specific date saying that the local version of Internet Explorer 8 will be released just over a week away, on March 20.

If true, it could also mean that the company has already ended development on the browser and is planning to unveil its final version, stateside, at MIX09 the day before. This is supported by the fact that, in the most recently leaked builds of Windows 7, the version information of IE 8 in the About screen does not reflect a release candidate status. It also means that IE7 has had a development lifespan of only two and a half years, compared to about five for its predecessor, and it can easily be said that the success of other browsers (most notably Firefox) fired up Microsoft's development team to try and keep up.