Internet Explorer 8 review

Written by on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 22:56 - 0 Comments

Internet Explorer 8 Review/Overview

With all the talk about Firefox and now Chrome centered on their competitiveness with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, I think it is time to look at the latest to come down the pike in that regard.  IE8 beta 2 was released last month, just days before Google Chrome was announced as available.  Since then, there are a lot of comparisons between Chrome and IE8, but very little in the way of straight reviews for IE8 itself.

Part of the reason for this is that Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 doesn’t add anything new to the browser scene.  It offers the latest and greatest to be found in other browsers, such as auto completion while typing, and suggested search terms when typing a search query.  It provides a slightly different default appearance, mostly to be more compatible with the default VIsta theme.  It claims to have many of the same features as Chrome, but if they exist, they can’t be tested as easily as Chrome’s claims.  Indeed, IE8 seems to be another release in a long line of catch-up web browser applications.  Even though it was released before Chrome, we should point out that the open source nature of Chrome means that the code was available for perusing for months, so MS developers knew what was coming from that front, and Firfox 3.0 has now been on the market long enough to have taken a substantial market share away from Microsoft’s IE7.

IE8 beta 2 looks good.  It loads a little faster than its predecessor, and is more compatible with Web 2.0 applications, expanding on the old Microsoft Active Desktop concept.  The autocomplete feature can be a huge timesaver.  IE7’s phishing filter has been renamed to SmartScreen Filtering.  Automatic Crash Recovery has become a fairly standard item across browsers, and the IE8 rendering engine is much improved over IE7 and earlier versions, compliant with CSS 2.1 paged media, and incorporating some recognition of CSS 3 features.

In all, IE8 is the best behaved version of Internet Explorer yet.  Almost every feature that can be found on other browsers is part of IE8, sometimes improving on carry-over ideas from earlier IE versions, and sometimes by adding completely new code.  This compatibility has always been a problem for Microsoft, and it is refreshing to see that Microsoft has finally taken the initiative.  As web-based applications become more prevalent, following the standards of data transfer is going to become more important for a browser’s success.  As a preview of things to come in the final release, this browser looks like promising competition for Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. ')}

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