Update: The final version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 has now gone live. Those using Windows 7 Beta will have to stick with the pre-release candidate version of Internet Explorer 8 for the time being as Microsoft has not included compatibility for that release. You can get all the details here or just pick the appropriate operating system below for download:
After a year of having the first beta test version out in the wild, and almost two months since shipping RC1, Microsoft is finally ready to let loose the final edition of Internet Explorer 8. This is the first major browser update since IE7 in 2006 and brings with it a number of security improvements as well as better standards compliance and new features like Accelerators, Slices, and visual search suggestions.
Obviously, Internet Explorer 8 also comes with a heap of performance improvements as well as bug and stability fixes. Dean Hachamovitch, who heads up the IE8 development team, is expected to announce the browser’s launch during his keynote today at MIX09 and a download link should be available here by noon. The release of IE8 comes as Microsoft continues to lose significant bits of market share to competitors Firefox and Safari – falling from 91 percent share four years ago to around 67 percent today – and also amid rumors that the company is working to replace the browser’s rendering engine with Gazelle.