Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 : First Impressions
After installing and trying out Internet Explorer 8 beta 2, it looks as though Microsoft is serious about giving some tough competition to Firefox 3. The new beta has got some new features that makes browsing much faster and more intuitive. It has an improved address bar, a suggested sites feature, intelligent tabs, a privacy mode and lots more. It is much much better than the previous beta we had seen.
Micorsoft has done a lot of work in tabbed browsing. There is a new feature called groups. Now if you open any tab from an old tab, the new tab will be placed on the right of the old tab and not on the extreme right. Tabs belonging to the same group will have the same color, so you can differentiate between all your related pages. You can even drag and drop tabs among group. Just by a right-click, you can close the whole group, duplicate the group and even open tabs that you have closed.
The address bar is also improved and seems similar to that of Firefox 3. It lists the recently opened sites that you typed. And yes, it also sorts the results by category such as History, Feeds, Favourites etc. There is also a “InPrivate” Mode or “Porn Mode” which I discussed yesterday. All the browsing activity in that mode will not be recorded.
There are two new features called Accelerators and WebSlices. Using Accelerator you can interact with a third party web service. For example you can copy some data on your clipboard and using the accelerator, can directly email it or blog it at Live Space, or find its meaning at Encarta. It is just like a contextual search system. Currently there are Accelerators for Live services such as Live Maps, Live Space etc. Though I have not tried WebSlice very much, it is used to deliver changing information to IE.
There is also a ‘Suggested Sites’ feature which will show you top 3 or top 5 sites that are related to the web site which you have opened. There is also a ‘compatibility view’ which will display a site as it is displayed in IE7. And it also remembers the view settings for each site so you don’t have to push the button again and again. And one more thing which I just noticed right now. If you open a new tab, instead of opening a blank page, it will display your recently closed tabs, Accelerators, InPrivate mode.
So now i am assured of one thing, this is going to be a tough competitor to Firefox 3 when the final version is released. I hope they make the UI a bit better though.