It's here its finally here. Im talking about the public beta for Internet Explorer 8. Heres the download page for Internet Explorer 8.
Now it may seem premature to be so excited, especially about a BETA 1 release. Well let me digress and explain why Ive felt such keen anticipation.
In November 2007, I was hired to write some materials on Microsofts new WindowsHPC offering. This led to work on the new PerformancePoint Server product and even some research papers comparing Windows Server 2008 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Well, being this heavily involved, I thought Id ask my client for a favor. Yep you guessed it: I wanted a crack at the new IE8 software while it was in private beta. I thought that since I was working with three different teams at Redmond I was sure to get a preview.
I was wrong. And for me it has been a long anticipated wait. Yes, I was downloading the beta the moment the links were live.
At first look, Internet Explorer 8 doesnt seem much different from version 7. In fact, most of the base features are the same. Therefore, XP users who are still reeling over the complete Vista interface overhaul can relax it still looks like Internet Explorer. However, theyve packed in some cool new features. Lets look at what they are and discuss how this newest browser will not only be more fun to use, but actually help you be more productive.
Whats New in the World of Web Browsing?
IE 8 has five new or improved features for the end user. (A little later Ill cover some of the under the hood adjustments in this new release.) The features were talking about are:
Activities in Internet Explorer 8
Automatic Crash Recovery
Improved Phishing Filter
So lets take a closer look at each. We begin with Activities:
Activities are services that, to put it simply, normally call for a copy and paste action in IE7 and earlier, in order to access additional information.
For example, if you needed to get the address and map a route to a sports arena, youd go to their website, copy the address, then paste it into a map website such as Live Maps. With Activities, you simply highlight your selection and the activities button appears. This button gives you the option to map an address (a preview of activities is available without launching a whole new tab or page). Post to your favorite blog site, send an email message, search, translate, define, and even share the content easily.
WebSlices are an exciting new technology in Internet Explorer 8. WebSlices work like RSS feeds; you simply go to sites that are enabled for WebSlices, like eBay or Facebook. Simply click on the WebSlice button and add it to your favorites bar.
Then from any webpage, your updated content will appear with bold type. Clicking on the item will open a view to give you an update. From here, you can either open the full page or delete the WebSlice (without ever leaving your current page).