The IE Blog reports on the release of IE 8 RC1:

We're excited to make the IE8 Release Candidate available today for public download today in 25 languages for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server customers. You can find it at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8. Please download it now and try it out. We welcome your feedback!

What’s New

The team will post more about all changes between Beta 2 and RC. In brief:

  • Platform Complete. The technical community should expect the final IE8 release to behave as the Release Candidate does. The IE8 product is effectively complete and done. We’ll post separately about the thousands of additional test cases we’re contributing to the W3C. We've listened very carefully to feedback from the betas. With the Release Candidate, we’re listening carefully for critical issues.
  • Reliability, Performance, and Compatibility improvements. We’ve studied the telemetry feedback about the browser's underlying quality and addressed many issues.
  • Security. We’ve worked closely with people in the security community to enable consumer-ready clickjacking protection. Sites can now protect themselves and their users from clickjacking attacks “out of the box,” without impacting compatibility or requiring browser add-ons. We also made some changes to InPrivate based on feedback from customers and partners.

We also made some changes to the user experience based on feedback. For example, based on data about how people use actually it, we made fitting more items on the Favorites bar easier. (Note that the IE8 Release Candidate is for Windows Vista, XP, and Server only; Windows 7 users will get an updated IE8 with the next update of Windows 7. Also, the Release Candidate of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit is available for download now.)

I’ve been working with IE 8 RC1 and various pre-RC1 IE 8 builds for some time now and I have to say, the experience has been largely positive. My review of IE 8 RC1 will be up shortly. Stay tuned.