IEBlog, the Internet Explorer blog from Microsoft, announced Wednesday that Microsoft will release IE 8 sometime after it releases a new public beta of the browser, scheduled for the first quarter of 2009.
In the blog entry, IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch said the IE team has been thoroughly reviewing the public response to IE 8 Beta 2 and asked that people continue to download the beta.

Microsoft had not officially announced a release date of IE 8, but several websites this summer reported an expected November 2008 launch. Hachamovitch said the next beta would be the last before the product is released and warned that sites should be ready for the upgrade to IE 8:

“We want the technical community of people and organizations interested in web browsers to take this update as a strong signal that IE8 is effectively complete and done. They should expect the final product to behave as this update does. We want them to test their sites and services with IE8, make any changes they feel are necessary for the best possible customer experience using IE8, and report any critical issues (e.g., issues impacting robustness, security, backwards compatibility, or completeness with respect to planned standards work).”

Microsoft offers a site for developers preparing for IE 8. IE 8 will render pages in a manner closer to web standards than its predecessor does, so some pages will look different in the new browser. Web developers can make IE 8 display pages like IE 7 using an HTML tag.