First Release Candidate RC1 of Internet Explorer 8 is just around the for Windows Vista and Windows XP. IE8 RC1 will be tailored to Vista RTM and SP1, to XP SP3 and earlier, to Windows Server 2008 and to Windows Server 2003, but not to Windows 7. Users running Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 will not be able to install Internet Explorer 8 RC 1 on the operating system.
Microsoft made available for download the Beta 2 release of IE8 few months back. By the end of 2008, a Partner Build of Internet Explorer 8 was offered to a select pool of testers, which already carried the label Release Candidate 1. Now, Microsoft is gearing up to serve the real thing to the general public, namely the fully-fledged Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 (IE8 RC1), leaving the Beta stage behind.
IE8 Beta build that is included into Windows 7 Beta is an interim version of the browser, more evolved than Beta 2, but inferior to Release Candidate 1. IE8 RC1 will be made available for all supported versions of Windows with the exception of Windows 7.