Microsoft posts 21 more versions of IE8

Browser now comes in Russian, Spanish and 19 other languages

Microsoft yesterday released 21 additional versions of its Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Beta 2, including editions in Czech, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and other languages.

The company, however, declined to set a date for when it will automatically update Windows Vista systems that have a copy of IE8 Beta 1 already installed.

According to Microsoft, the 21 new, fully-localized versions can be downloaded immediately. When it launched IE8 Beta 2 late last month, Microsoft shipped the browser only in English, Simplified Chinese, German and Japanese.

Users running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 must install the same language version of IE8 as the base language of the operating system, said Vishwac Sena Kannan, an international program manager, in a post to the official IE blog Tuesday. Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 users can ignore those constraints.

Although Microsoft has enabled auto-updating for IE8 to Beta 2 for Windows XP and Server 2003 users whose machines already had Beta 1, it has not yet flipped the switch for Vista and Server 2008.

Asked when that would happen, and whether the delay was due to technical issues, a Microsoft spokeswoman said only: "As IE8 is still in beta, both the product and the process are still in testing mode. We plan on pushing future builds of IE8 through AU for all Windows customers."

Microsoft released IE8 Beta 2 to XP and Server 2003 users via Windows Update on August 28.

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Gregg Keizer

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