IE8 Microsoft has published the Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit site, since IE8 Beta will be available for download very soon. The site contains information on some of the various new and interesting stuff that IE8 will deliver for consumers and developers. Most of the links are currently not working as this post is written…

Here are some of the highlights if you ignore all the improvements such as CSS compliance etc.


Activities is a completely new feature in Internet Explorer 8 that allows users to install small look-up applications. For example if you install a Virtual Earth Activity and then select and address on another web page and use the context menu on the selection, you can easily look up the address on the map. I see several interesting scenarios for this and the whole mash-up world can boost from this. Can’t wait to try it out!

There are currently a bunch of Activities ready to be installed, you can find them at

Data URI support

The support for inline images is something I waited some time for. Finally we can get rid of all the empty.gif or e.gif, images. IE8 allows developers to insert base64 encoded images directly in the A tag:

<a href="data:image/png;base64,XXXXX..."/>

Wonder how this will affect security?


Printing using browsers has been really lousy, hopefully IE8 changes this! I primarily work with Intranet scenarios, where this is a common scenario, so hopefully we can upgrade our clients soon to IE8 and deliver them great printing web applications.

You can find even more improvements and new stuff on the developer page of the IE8 Readiness Toolkit site.

And you can soon find the links on the download page working - and download IE8!