Microsoft made their next browser version, Internet Explorer 8, available for download on Wednesday. It’s still an early beta release but could prove useful for designers and developers as they now have some time to adapt their websites to yet another IE browser.
According to recent MS blogs IE8 will be more focused on staying with the web standards. However, you can also make it render pages like IE7 and also like it did in older versions. Hopefully most people will stick with the forward compatible mode so that designers for once can have only one stylesheet for media/screen and one for print (wishful thinking 🙂 ).
On a side note, even though IE8 passed the Acid2 test, they still struggle with the new Acid3 test recently made available by WaSP. Let’s hope Microsoft manages to improve the code before releasing their first RC.
So what’s new?
Activities are contextual services to quickly access a service from any webpage. Users typically copy and paste from one webpage to another. Internet Explorer 8 Activities make this common pattern easier to do.
WebSlices is a new feature for websites to connect to their users by subscribing to content directly within a webpage. WebSlices behave just like feeds where clients can subscribe to get updates and notify the user of changes.
In Internet Explorer 7, the Links bar provided users with one-click access to their favourite sites. The Links bar has undergone a complete makeover for Internet Explorer 8. It has been renamed the Favorites bar to enable users to associate this bar as a place to put and easily access all their favourite web content such as links, feeds, WebSlices and even Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
Automatic Crash Recovery
Automatic Crash Recovery (ACR) is a feature of IE8 that can help to prevent the loss of work and productivity in the “unlikely” event of the browser crashing or hanging, similar to the one introduced in FF2 a while back. The ACR feature takes advantage of the Loosely-Coupled Internet Explorer feature to provide new crash recovery capabilities, such as tab recovery, which will minimize interruptions to users’ browsing sessions.
Improved Phishing Filter
IE8 are building on the success of the Phishing Filter introduced in IE7 with a more comprehensive feature called the “Safety Filter.” The Safety Filter continues to block known Phishing sites and now blocks sites known to contain malicious software that could harm users’ computer or steal their information. Beyond this improved protection, the Safety Filter operates more quickly than ever before to ensure that users can browse both safely and quickly.
Follow this link for more information about the forthcoming version.