Internet Explorer 8 unleashed!

Microsoft finally (today) made the release version of Internet Explorer 8 available to the public. It seems Microsoft has taken a page out of Google’s book (don’t they always) with regard to browser performance and functionality. 

According to Microsoft the new browser is faster and more user-friendly. Some of the features included to help you are as follows:

  • Quickly access a street map by highlighting an address and using an Accelerator such as Microsoft Live Search Maps effectively taking a 7 step process to getting a map from an address to simply 2 clicks.

    ie8-address-map

  • New and improved powerful search bar makes searching for and comparing products so much easier – without leaving the current browser window or tab.ie8-smart-address-bar  
  • Multi-tasking stability – now when a web page causes the browser to hang/crash only that tab is affected, not the whole browser – no more losing work or your train of thought. Should the browser crash it will automatically recover the previous tabs and sessions upon restarting.
     
  • Internet Explorer 8 now remembers your recently opened tabs so that you can quickly re-open them and go back to a previously visited page.

    ie8-reopen-tabs

  • Just like Google Chrome’s Incognito browsing mode, Internet Explorer 8 has a new InPrivate mode which acts in the same way keeping your browsing in that session private by not storing cookies, cache items or browsing history for that session.
     
  • Again (starting a trend here) just like Google Chrome warning you of a website that is potentially unsafe, Internet Explorer 8 will attempt to do the same – making your web surfing so much safer. ie8-unsafe-site 
  • Compatibility mode for browsing websites, that aren’t geared up yet for Internet Explorer 8, using the Internet Explorer 7 rendering engine instead.ie8-compat-mode
  • A new feature is tab-grouping which makes related tabs have the same look so that you can easily switch between related tabs, or close them at once. And closing one tab from a group will switch you to another tab from the same group so that you stay within the same context you were in. 

For those of us already using Google Chrome, most of this will be something you’re used to, yet not accustomed to from Internet Explorer.  Remember that this is the first release version of Internet Explorer 8 so there may be a few teething problems, as always, expect a patch or two or a service pack in the not too distant future.

I’ve not tried IE8 for myself yet but early reports are that it’s not as fast as they claim – will that have an effect on its two-third market share? Read more at TechCrunch.

Download IE8 now for yourself.

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