When IE8 beta appeared several months ago, I installed it to check it out. It wasn’t too bad: sure, some sites didn’t work properly, others flat out failed to load, but mostly everything could be worked out with the use of that “Compatibility” button. I gave it slack for the software being beta. On top of that, IE is not my primary browser, so I let it stay on the system for those rare times that I encounter an IE only site.
Last week, IE8 Release Candidate 1 came out and I installed it as well. As far as I understand, in Microsoft nomenclature “Release Candidate” means it’s almost in the bag, just last couple of bugs to be worked out.
Nothing could be further from the truth with this release. This software is a gigantic train wreck. It crashes, lays out the UI flat out wrong, locks up temporarily while opening a new tab…you name it, it does it. The only silver lining that I saw is that the master IE process does recover a tab if it crashes. But really, it is a very thin silver lining.
What pissed me off the most are the massive problems at popular sites, the ones that should have been caught in the QA process. For instance, Gmail. This one is double whammy: it occasionally crashes and and lays out the site wrong. Seriously, it’s Gmail. I bet some of the MS testers have home accounts on Gmail. You can’t release a browser that can’t handle Gmail.
I think the team needs to take a step back, figure out what went wrong, rewind the clock, restart the engines and release a great product.