Initially, it didn’t take me long to dismiss Internet Explorer 8 when the first beta version was released, but after seeing other users’ experiences with it, it’s safe to safe Redmond finally has my attention. Unlike the earlier beta, which was meant only for testing, the new release should be stable and polished enough to be used full time.
New features in IE8 include:
- Suggested sites, an option that is turned off by default, which provides links to other websites based on other users’ surfing habits.
- Accelerators, context-sensitive commands that will complete certain tasks faster, such as mapping directions, translating text, or sending email.
- Colored tab organization
- A new address bar akin to Firefox’s “Awesome Bar,” which will search history and saved RSS feeds.
- The InPrivate mode, which will prevent information like history and cookies from being recorded in browser sessions.
- Additional standards compliance, with the option to default back to IE7’s rendering mode in different ways.
With the progress made thus far, at least we can see that Microsoft is finally getting serious about their browser. If the new version can shape up in time, it’s not a stretch to say that it will provide some competition with other browsers.
As promised back in June, Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 has been released. Beta 1 showed promise, but true to its billing as a developer-only release, had a lot of rough edges and was painful to use for any prolonged period. This new beta is meant for everyone, and should be usable day-to-day. As well as a host of security,stability, and privacy features, the new IE has a raft of new features and user interface improvements that should make using the browser much more enjoyable.