Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is out and about in English, Chinese Simplified, German and Japanese, since August 27, 2008. The second milestone of the successor of IE7 is designed to integrate with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. However, upgrading from IE8 Beta 1 to Beta 2 is not an as streamlined process as it might seem, requiring some effort on the part of the end user, less on XP and Windows Server 2003 and more on Vista and Windows Server 2008.
"If you have Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 installed, the IE8 installer will automatically uninstall any earlier versions and then install the latest version of IE8 Beta2 for you. You will be prompted to reboot twice. The first reboot is to remove IE8 Beta 1 from your machine and the second one to complete the IE8 Beta 2 installation. When you launch Internet Explorer, you can open the Help->About Internet Explorer dialog to see the version number 8.0.6001.18241," revealed Jane Maliouta, IE program manager.
This is valid for both XP and Windows Server 2003. On multi-core XPSP2 x86 machines users will also need to deploy KB932823 or KB946501. However, there is a scenario involving Windows XP SP3 when end users will be forced to manually uninstall the IE8 Beta 1. This will happen if IE8 Beta 1 was installed before deploying XP SP3. In this context, integrating IE8 Beta 2 into the mix will make it a permanent installation, without any options to remove the browser afterwards. Maliouta recommended that end users uninstall Service Pack 3, then IE8 Beta 1, and only then install SP3 again and on top IE8 Beta 2.
"Internet Explorer Beta 2 will be offered to those Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems that have IE8 Beta 1 installed and have Automatic Updates turned on. A prompt in your Windows task bar will alert you when IE8 Beta 2 is ready for installation. The language version of IE8 Beta 2 offered is based on your Windows Operating System Language version. For example, if your computer is running a Chinese Simplified or German version of Windows, you will be offered IE8 Beta 2 in Chinese Simplified or German respectively. For any other Windows languages, Internet Explorer 8 will be offered to you in English. Again, this only applies to those systems that have IE8 Beta 1 installed," Maliouta stated.
As far as Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are concerned, Microsoft advises users to manually remove IE8 Beta 1 before deploying IE8 Beta 2. In addition, KB937287, KB957055 and KB943302 updates are required in order for the IE8 Beta 2 installation to get the green light. "After IE8 Beta 2installation is complete, the final screen of the Install Wizard indicates that Internet Explorer installation completed successfully. After you restart your computer and launch Internet Explorer, you can open the Help->About Internet Explorer dialog to see the version number 8.0.6001.18241," Maliouta said.
Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Beta 2 is available for download here.