Microsoft says the first beta version of IE8 will be released in the first half of next year. The firm also announced that this new browser will be more compliant with web standards:
The IE team has been very hard at work on IE 8 for the past several months and they hit a huge milestone last Friday evening. The IE dev team checked in a bunch of code that included several new features implemented in the core rendering engine that enable IE to pass the ACID 2 test! This is great news for web developers: IE 8 is going to be our most standards compliant browser to date. Passing ACID 2 is really a combined side effect of all the new features that have been developed for IE 8.