At the Mix 07 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft presented some information about Internet Explorer 8. Chris Wilson, the IE platform architect, shared some general directions which the IE team will follow for the next release.
Wilson didn't present a list of features that users can expect in IE8, but he did say that their next browser will offer much better support for standards:
Wilson said to expect Microsoft to be investing across layout, object model and Ajax development fronts in IE 8.0. Specifically, Wilson said Microsoft is investing in making IE 8.0 more compliant with CSS 2.1 layout standards. Microsoft also is working to make the IE 8.0 object model more interoperable with that used by other browsers, and is looking to provide more client-side application programming interfaces (APIs) to support local storage for mash-ups, Wilson said.
Microsoft is planning to make tweaks to IE that will allow developers to more easily add extensions to its browser, Wilson said. He said Microsoft acknowledged that extensions are powerful but potentially "scary."
He also said to expect Microsoft to continue to invest heavily in advancing its Web development toolbar with the next version of IE.
Additionally, Wilson said that just as with Internet Explorer 7, security is still the number one challenge.
If IE8 doesn't face to many delays it should be ready in 2008. Microsoft is definitely not going to wait another five years to release its next browser version.