Activewin (opens in new tab) has published an intriguing email which, if genuine, would indicate that Microsoft is about to provide its Connect (opens in new tab) users with a beta version of Internet Explorer 8.
We are nearing the launch of Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and we will be making it available for the general public to download and test.
IE8 Beta 1 is focused on the developer community, with the goal of gaining valuable feedback to improve Internet Explorer 8 during the development process.
The download will only be available via Microsoft's Connect but will surely leak out on the usual download websites within hours.
Last week, Dean Hachamovitch (opens in new tab), General Manager for Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, announced that IE8's first beta will be released in the first half of 2008 after having completed the 'Acid2 face' test successfully.
The Alpha version of the browser has been running for at least one year within Microsoft, according to Softpedia (opens in new tab).
The fact that Microsoft has been so swift moving to beta indicates that the browser is apparently stable enough to be deployed, says Arstechnica (opens in new tab).
The publication also mentions that Microsoft will demonstrate Internet Explorer 8 at MIX08.
Firefox has already released its third beta of its Grand Paradiso browser, AKA Firefox 3 and there has been a number of noticeable improvements.