Microsoft gets back on track with a promising web browser
- Standard compliant
- Interesting new features: Accelerators, Web Clips
- New InPrivate browsing
- Protection against online scams and malware
- Accelerators are tied to Microsoft's online services
- Privacy issues in Suggested sites
Internet Explorer 8 is Microsoft's incredibly popular web browser. Almost everyone has used some version of it, and you can be sure all websites will support it.
What new functionlity does IE 8 bring?
Internet Explorer 8 includes two main new tools: one is Accelerators (previously known as Activities), and the other is Web Slices. The first one gives you direct access to various online services just by right-clicking anywhere on the web page or on highlighted text. For instance, you can look up a word, map an address or perform a search with those marked words. The main drawback is that all these options use Microsoft's Windows Live services which means that you're stuck with them.
Regarding Internet Explorer's Web Slices, these are a kind of RSS-style tool that tracks changes and updates to selected websites and keeps you informed about them. It comes in really handy for tracking small changes that can't be followed by RSS, without having to visit the site: online auction bids, stock exchange values, weather information and more.
Besides these two tools, Internet Explorer 8 also includes many interesting new features. One of them, the 'Suggested sites' function, recommends new websites you may not know about, based on your browsing history.
The return of the menu bar
The interface of Internet Explorer 8 hasn't changed that much compared to older versions, except for one small detail; the menu bar is back and shows up by default again. Besides that, everything else is in place: the address bar is again on top of the interface, and Favorites are accessible via a drop-down menu.
Protecting your privacy and security
Internet Explorer 8 includes InPrivate Browsing, Internet Explorer's version of the popular Chrome Incognito mode. While InPrivate Browsing is on, the browser won't save data, including cookies, history and temporary Internet files. As for security, Internet Explorer 8 includes the so-called SmartScreen filter, which prevents you from entering fraudulent websites and protects you from online phishing scams.
Internet Explorer 8 is truly a giant step forward, and proves that Microsoft is working hard to offer a more secure, compatible and customizable browser.
- Web Slices - subscribe to specific content from web pages Visual search box Suggested sites Accelerators Improved performance New tabs features Improved search Tab grouping Improved zoom