While this is good news all by itself, TechARP also thinks it means that Windows 7 might be ready much sooner than Microsoft has previously stated.
As it stands now Windows 7 is expected to be released in early 2010, but with IE8 already being pushed out to OEMs this could mean the 7 launch schedule has been pushed up.
I think opposite could be true, with IE8 hitting in March this could mean a delay in Windows 7 as MS is pushing a major "feature" of the OS out early. Other signs to look for will be the availability of DX11 hardware.
If the major manufacturers cannot get DX11 hardware in the channel soon enough MS might not want to release 7 as there will not be a large demand if there is nothing to support the new features available in DX11.
Read more here at TechARP.
Microsoft will RTM Internet Explorer 8 in March, 2009, most likely sometime during the last 2 weeks. This is because Microsoft plans to announce the final details of the IE8 RTM schedule and available language versions by March 5, 2009. Whether this will be a public announcement, or an internal one remains to be seen. You can be sure though that we will keep you informed.
When Microsoft releases IE8 to manufacturing, it will be offered to OEMs as an optional supplement to all Windows XP and Windows Vista operating system products licensed in the OEM channels. This means OEMs will be able to integrate Internet Explorer 8 into their products which are currently shipping with Windows Vista or Windows XP Downgrade pre-installed.
Current users of Windows Vista and Windows XP will also be able to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8. However, Microsoft has yet to determine a time frame for the public release via Windows Update. We expect Microsoft to decide by their March 8 deadline.
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