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Gates Refers To Next Internet Explorer As 'IE8'

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Tuesday is calling the next version of Internet Explorer 'IE8', but the head of the IE group at Microsoft offered little additional information.

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In a Wednesday post on the Internet Explorer team weblog, Microsoft General Manager Dean Hachamovitch noted that Gates was also the first to publicly discuss IE7 prior to its release, and "kept the tradition alive" by being the first to mention IE8.

Hachamovitch acknowledged that users who've been starving for information on the next IE release are likely to be more interested in features release dates than the name of the offering, and some have asked him where IE8 fits into Microsoft's strategic vision.

However, instead of throwing a bone to the curious throngs, Hachamovitch coyly informed readers that more information will soon be forthcoming. "In the meantime, please don't mistake silence for inaction," he wrote.

But if comments posted to the blog are any indication, some readers aren't buying this explanation. One disgruntled reader, posting under the name 'Irritated senior manager', pulled no punches in assessing the situation.

"You have really screwed this up, Dean. In twelve months your policy of silence has attracted more negative perception for [Internet Explorer] that you manage than for any other product at any time in Microsoft's history," reads the post

"Gaining acceptance will now be a great deal harder than it might otherwise have been, and MUCH harder than should ever have been necessary. And it's all your fault," reads the post.

According to Hachamovitch, some of the names the IE product team considered, but ultimately ruled out, include: IE 7+1; IE VIII; Ie2.079; and IE Desktop Online Web Browser Live Professional Ultimate Edition for the Internet.

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