IE9 is coming
All active bug tickets on Microsoft Connect have now been marked as postponed, and Microsoft have appended the following message to all of them:
Thank you for submitting your feedback on Internet Explorer 8. The information in this bug has been reviewed carefully by the team and will help inform future releases of Internet Explorer. We are now closing down the Internet Explorer 8 Feedback Program in preparation for soliciting feedback for our next version and as such, per the Microsoft Connect guidelines, all remaining bugs for IE8 will be resolved as “Postponed” for now. When the feedback program for the next release is ready, we will look at transferring this bug, along with any applicable status update.
I would certainly take this as a sign that the release of IE9 is approaching. To close the bug reporting system relating to a current browser version for any significant period of time, without a new version (reporting system or browser) being released soon after, would be ludicrous. On the other hand, it does make sense to transfer all bug reports for IE8 over to the reporting system for IE9, and by Microsoft doing this, it confirms there’ll be no interim browser versions, anyway. Hopefully Microsoft will open up IE9’s reporting system soon, as I currently don’t have anywhere to create new tickets!
This status message from Microsoft also ties in nicely with the upcoming date of MIX 2010 where it’s been confirmed that Dean Hachamovitch will be discussing the development of IE9. Dare I suggest that Microsoft will give us a definitive release date for IE9, or even better, release it there and then? If it’s not the latter, I’d hazard a guess that we’ll see a beta release within the next five months.