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Internet Explorer 8 Beta Overview

Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 Beta. This release is meant mostly for developers and designers, so that they can test the new browser. “Internet Explorer 8 will take the web experience beyond the page. Internet Explorer 8 introduces a new way to seamlessly experience the best of the web whether you are a web developer writing to standards or a user discovering a new online service” (Microsoft.com). Here are some new features and improvements worth noting.

  • WebSlices – WebSlices are similar to live bookmarks in FireFox. They provide a way to get updated content without visiting the website a bunch of times a day. Unlike the RSS text version of FireFox’s live bookmarks, IE8’s WebSlices allow for parts of a web page to be updated (It looks like a website, not like an RSS feed). There are WebSlices available from eBay and StumbleUpon already.
  • Activities – Activities enable you to access other services from within a webpage, such as submitting to Digg, looking up information, or mapping an address. The Activities icon? is loaded in a context menu similar to a right click menu in windows.
  • Layout Engine – IE8 has a new layout engine with many improvements for how a page is loaded and rendered. As always, this upgrade can cause problems with websites that were developed for IE7. Microsoft took this into account, however, and allows for a webpage to tell IE8 to render the page as IE7.
  • CSS 2.1 Compliant – IE8 will eventually be fully CSS 2.1 compliant. They are continuing to work with developers and designers to work out bugs in the Beta, but will have it fixed in the final release.
  • Improvements – IE8 has had an overhaul and now has improvements in HTML rendering, namespace support, and platform performance. These improvements will help IE8 run better as a whole.
  • Developer Tools – IE8 now has developer tools built into the application. They provide most of the functionality of the web developer FireFox extension.
  • Improved Security – IE8 has also been given more security features to protect you as you browse. There are 3 main exploits that are protected against in IE8: they are social engineering, web server, and browser-based exploits.

You can download you copy of IE8 here. Please comment below and let us know what you think of the IE8 Beta.



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