Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8 beta

We heard recently that the IE8 beta was coming really soon, and it looks like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team has delivered in that respect. The new browser is available right now from Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 8 Beta pages, and it’s compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors for Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2, and Windows Server 2003. A word of warning, though: the IE8 beta seems to overwrite IE7 (although it can later be removed), and the installation requires a reboot.

So what novelties does Internet Explorer 8 bring to the table? Microsoft lists a good number of new features, including a new favorites bar, contextual “Activities” menus, “WebSlices” (chunks of content sites can serve to users’ link bars), an improved phishing filter, “domain highlighting”, new developer tools, and functionality to help users transition from other browsers. For instance, IE8 can import Firefox bookmarks and even look for extensions similar to those a user might have installed in Mozilla’s browser.

One of Internet Explorer 8’s big selling points is also its new “standards mode”, which supposedly improves support for web standards. Microsoft claims IE8 fixes “many cross-browser inconsistencies” and “allows developers to build a single standards compatible website for multiple browsers.” However, our testing with the browser suggests the IE team still has some work to do in that regard. Luckily, IE8 can fall back to compatibility modes that emulate either IE7 or IE5.

Comments closed
    • Mavrick88
    • 12 years ago

    10:30AM – Installed IE 8 beta 1.
    10:35AM – Restarted computer.
    10:38AM – Opened IE 8 beta 1.
    10:45AM – Uninstalled IE 8 beta 1.
    10:47AM – Restarted computer.

    Benefit of the doubt, yes, yes I know it’s beta 1.

    • Pettytheft
    • 12 years ago

    I tried it and it mutilated some of the websites I frequent worse than IE7. Then my PC randomly froze after 30 minutes. (IE8 wasn’t even open) Had to uninstall it before I could really get a feel of it.

    • pogsnet
    • 12 years ago
      • Meadows
      • 12 years ago

      Then, don’t comment.

    • alex666
    • 12 years ago

    Thought I’d pass this on. I posted earlier about installing IE8 on my work computer (a Dell) and finding it very slow. That slowness continued, so I uninstalled IE8, the uninstall went without a hitch, and my system automatically reverted back to IE7 (which I previously had installed), and all seems to be working fine.

    That said, I’m now back to my usual browser, Firefox, which still works much much better than IE7 on any system I own.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    It’s a developer preview, not intended to be used on end-user’s (even IT pro’s) machinesg{<.<}g Ya'll been warned. And of course Microsoft "beta" really means "Alpha" for the rest of us (i.e. data loss type bugs, not close to production readyg{<.) <}g A VM or throwaway/test machine is the only place this should be testedg{<.<}g

    • alex666
    • 12 years ago

    I installed it on my work computer and found it terrible. Now while I am a firefox user 99% of the time, I liked IE7, even the beta, and installed it on all my systems. But this IE8, at least on my work Dell P4, is slow to open pages, slow to load pages, just slowness all the time as though it’s on the verge of crashing.

    • provoko
    • 12 years ago

    Webslice looks very nice. But I don’t like the favorites bar, I hated that in firefox.

    • Hance
    • 12 years ago

    I got burned by the IE7 beta when it came out. No way am I installing this and taking a chance of screwing my computer up.

      • Logdan
      • 12 years ago

      Then don’t install it on your production computer. Instead, install it on some sort of test environment, such as a virtual machine. If you have retail copy of Vista you can…

      1. Download/Install Virtual PC 2007
      2. Use your Vista install CD to create a 32 bit VM (don’t activate your install)
      3. Install IE8 on this VM
      4. …
      5. Profit!

      Obviously the VM will only work for 30 days, so don’t use it for anything other than to try out IE8.

        • poulpy
        • 12 years ago

        Unless you’re dying to try out some Microsoft beta software that seems a hell of a hassle just not to screw up your OS with a new browser IMO..
        But I have to say I’m not interested in IE nor Microsoft so maybe I just don’t get it.

        • Hance
        • 12 years ago

        Not worth the effort for me. I have used opera for years but keep IE around for the odd website that doesnt work with opera. Once the final version of it is out I will probably download it but being burned with a beta once was enough for this kid.

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    Installed it last night…I like it. Firefox importation works great, minus the memory leaks and Flash lock-ups.

    • Meadows
    • 12 years ago

    I have tried the beta, and people should be aware that /[

      • provoko
      • 12 years ago

      Session restore with IE7pro plugin. It’s nice IE8 has it, but if you were interested visit the website.

        • Meadows
        • 12 years ago

        No, I’m fine the way this is. 🙂
        It still lacks 2 things I like in Firefox, but I prefer IE.

        1. The scrolldown list of the recorded web addresses includes the window title of the said address in Firefox. Great convenience, especially with things like a bunch of TR or, say, youtube links.
        2. Firefox has something like an “upon starting, open the tabs I was viewing when I last quit” feature that’s also great convenience sometimes.

        Sometimes I wish IE would copy *[

    • emi25
    • 12 years ago

    I use other bowser, Microsoft IE do not matter anymore. I hope it will be the same with vista thing.

    • nagashi
    • 12 years ago

    The last line should be “IE7 or IE6” I think. IE5/IE6’s rendering was very similar.

    Doesn’t install under wine (0.9.55/0.9.54/0.9.52 were the ones I tried).

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