AOL 5.0 Mac UK has reached the eighth build in its beta testing cycle, and reports say it will be the most stable AOL browser yet.

AOL 4.0 took much longer than expected, going through fifty different beta tests before release. This time though, the programming team are reportedly "excelling" themselves, releasing new versions every two to three weeks. An anonymous source said plans exist to "carbonize" AOL 5 just before the release of Mac OS X, though an uncarbonized form should be available before OS X becomes available.

The program is expected to be rich in features, but not at the cost of stability. Joss Cole, of AOL UK agreed that the beta testing is progressing "very well", but could not comment on rumours that AOL 5.0 Mac UK will also allow AOL users to access their email from other email clients, such as Outlook Express.

The browser is set for release by late May, sources say.