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Microsoft to launch beta of Internet Explorer 8

Set for release in the first half of the year, IE 8 beta 1 will be made available for download shortly and further detailed at Microsoft's Mix conference next week.

Microsoft will shortly make available the test version of Internet Explorer 8, which is set for final release in the first half of this year.

The Web site ActiveWin on Monday published the contents of a beta invitation, which said Microsoft is nearing a launch date for Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, which will be available for download and testing.

According to the Internet Explorer blog, the next version of Microsoft's Web browser is set for release in the first half of the year.

Microsoft executives are expected to reveal further details about the browser's features at the software maker's upcoming Mix conference in Las Vegas next week.

Last year at Mix, Microsoft outlined some of the features planned for IE 8, including standards compliance and tools to ease Web development.