The end is nigh….for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that is. It has been rumoured that version eight of the popular web browser will be the last in the Internet Explorer line and the brand will be discontinued. Now this may come as good news to scores of web developers across the world, this isn’t the end for Microsoft in terms of its fight for browser dominance.
It is believed that the next browser to come out of the Redmond camp will be based on the new and exciting Project Gazelle, recently announced by Microsoft Research. Gazelle is a completely new browser and has been rebuilt from the ground up. It currently consists of 5,000 lines of C# code, runs with a sandboxed kernal to prevent unauthorised access to the users operating system and uses a multi-process approach to tabs meaning each tab has its own process so if one crashes the whole application doesnt freeze up.
It is also rumoured the new browser will run with webkit (the rendering engine used by safari, opera and google chrome) which is fast becoming the norm for none-IE / Firefox based browsers, I for one hope this doesnt happen as Im not a huge fan of webkit and its many flaws, but then I am an avid firefox fanboi.
Talking of rumours (this being a theme of this post) IE 8 is expected to be released at Microsoft’s Mix 09 conference next week, Microsoft Taiwan has even given a release date of 20th March.
Having tested Internet Explorer 8 from beta 1 I have to say this is definatly the best version yet and I hope this is pushed out via one of Redmonds Patch Tuesdays as a critical update forcing users to upgrade. I will be adding an “Upgrade to IE8” message to my site for visitors using IE7 or god forbif IE6.