Microsoft has revealed more details about its release roadmap for Internet Explorer 8. In a post on the official IEBlog, Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch says you can expect a public "release candidate" build of the new browser in the first quarter of 2009. Some time after that, the full release version will be let loose in the wild.
According to Hachamovitch, this release candidate will be just that—professionals and organizations should "expect the final product to behave as this update does." In other words, Microsoft will be pretty much done with IE8 next quarter, but the browser won't come out in its full form until after the company has listened to feedback and resolved any pending "critical issues." Hachamovitch didn't say how long that might take, though.
As eWeek points out, Microsoft stated a few months ago that IE8 would be out by the end of this year, so the company may have postponed it internally. The first and second IE8 beta releases came out in March and August, respectively, and Hachamovitch says the IE team has been hard at work sifting through feedback and issue reports.