Internet Explorer 8: Review: Page 2

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The Favorites Bar is both a new feature and an improved feature. What does this mean? The Favorites bar replaces the links bar from IE 7. (The Links bar provided one-click access to favorite sites). The Favorites bar has been renamed (the improved part) to associate this as the place to put your WebSlices, RSS feeds, links and even Office documents (this is the new part). All this provides easy access and management to useful web content.

Automatic Crash Recovery (ACR) is another new feature in IE8 that many would say is long overdue.

The advent of tabbed browsing means that users can be more productive within a single browser. How many times have you had several different tabs open only to have a site crash IE 7 and lose all your content? Well, Automatic Crash Recovery is designed to recover your web pages in case of a crash or “hang” in your web browser. ACR will help minimize disruptions and improve your productivity.

An Improved Phishing Filter has now added a safety filter, and this safety filter does more than block sites that are used for phishing. Internet Explorer 8 builds on the success of the phishing filter and now blocks sites known to contain malicious software that could harm user’s computers.

In summary, these improvements make browsing easier, more productive, and really much more fun. With IE8, Microsoft has succeeded in changing the Web browsing experience.

Now this is a beta release, so there are some things to note. I myself do not use extra toolbars such as Google or Yahoo toolbar. I’m not one for clutter, not on my desktop and not in my browser (but that being said, I know I’m the exception not the rule. I also realize that this has more to do with my own personal OCD computer habits). However, reports have been coming in from several sources that Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 has not been playing well with the toolbar plug-ins, and has caused browser crashes. Nevertheless, it’s a beta and that what betas are for – to work out the bugs.

Now I mentioned earlier that there are some things going on in IE 8 that are “behind the scenes,” so to speak. Some of these improvements are a move to Standards support; this includes CSS compliance, improvements to AJAX navigation, built-in developer tools to test pages before they’re put into production, and improvements to HTML and Active X controls.

Add in backwards compatibility for legacy browsers and it’s easy to see Internet Explorer 8 is striving to the premier Web browser for both the end user and developer/Web designer.

Well, I have installed and run with IE8 for three days now and I can only add that I can’t wait to see how the various Web sites take advantage of the new features, particularly the WebSlices and Activities features. No doubt Web browsing is going to morph and Internet Explorer 8 is in position to be a big part of that change.

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