Microsoft releases completed Internet Explorer 8

After over a year of beta testing, Internet Explorer 8 has finally gone gold. The complete, production-ready release of the new browser is available right now from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer website.

Microsoft offers installers for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. In most cases, it looks like the new browser is a sub-30MB download, with the Vista x86 version weighing in at a scant 13.2MB. Installation requires a reboot, though, and it overwrites previously installed versions of IE—web designers be warned.

Once installed, IE8 asks users to import bookmarks from Firefox, Opera, and Safari (but not Google Chrome). The software feels about as snappy as the latter two, although the way it briefly blanks out the screen when loading new pages makes it appear somewhat less smooth. Oh, and of course, there’s a plethora of new features on the menu: the smart address bar, color-coded tabs, “accelerators,” “web slices,” and a new, more standards-compliant rendering engine. You can get a complete tour of the new browser here.

Comments closed
    • tygrus
    • 11 years ago

    It still has errata-not-bugs remaining from beta and RC1.

    If IE8 opens slowly then after a crash it prompts you to restore the previous session. If the second iexplore.exe process has NOT been spawned then clicking “home page” will result in IE freezing.

    • uknowit90
    • 11 years ago

    IE8 caused Norton’s Phishing monitor to shut off… hmmmm… interesting provided I can’t find anything at all about IE8 having its own Phishing monitor… back to IE7 we go…

    Good thing I use Firefox for everything except email, and with the new Windows Live Messenger and hotmail, hotmail finally works well in Firefox. Goodbye Internet Explorer!!

    • fpsduck
    • 11 years ago

    I just installed, tested and I feel it’s much better than IE7 on some points.

    Well, FF has to do something with their memory management soon.
    Because IE8 now follows Chrome on separating process for each browsing tab.

    • WaltC
    • 11 years ago

    Anyone know if the IE8 uninstall routine reinstalls IE7 in case some IE8 stuff doesn’t work with IE7-supporting applications? (I’ve got a program I use at work that does not work properly with the IE8 betas–so have to stick with IE7 when I use the application. Said application doesn’t work at all with Firefox.)

    Edit: after reading the XP FAQ, I suppose if I have to I can just uninstall IE8 and reinstall IE7 from scratch.

    2nd Edit: A postscript to say I was pleasantly surprised to find that IE8 worked just fine with my XP application at work, no compatibility mode required. The beta IE8 did not even in compatibility mode.

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 11 years ago

    So it took how much prodding and pushing to finally get them to release another catch up version? No doubt if every other browser in the world died off for some bizarre reason, Microsoft would just sit on its fat laurels again and current standards would be halfheartedly implemented, let alone upcoming ones. No thanks, I’ll just stick with the browsers that have constantly innovated and improved… like Gecko.

    • DiRRRtyFlip
    • 11 years ago

    WTF?! Installer gave me a rude prompt saying “Internet Explorer 8 is not supported on this operating system.” right after I double-clicked it to install it on Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (build 7000).

    Back to Firefox, I guess!

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Probably because it’s not supported. Windows 7 isn’t out yet.
      RC will likely ship with IE8 anyway.

      Did you see a “Windows 7” download link when opting to download IE8? Thought so.

      • kilkennycat
      • 11 years ago

      The “production” copy of IE8 is not supported on Windows 7 beta yet. It still has its own much earlier version of IE8. Go to the ArsTechnica “One Microsoft Way” group of news-articles for the full poop.

    • phez
    • 11 years ago

    How news items like these fan out:

    “Installed, crashed, classic M$ crap”
    “Exploits”
    “lol acid3”
    “My firefox is slow/doesn’t work?” “You’re doin it wrong”
    “Me IE is slow/doesn’t work?” “lol microsoft”

    How about this? I have Firefox, IE8, and Chrome all installed. Every one of them executes fine. Every one of them is secure enough. All of them /[

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      I have to agree. I have FF, Opera, IE, and Chrome all installed, I use pretty much all of them on a semi-regular basis. There are features I like and dislike about each one of them, and I’m glad I don’t have to use any of them as my only browser. I can’t imagine feeling any particular loyalty to any of them (or to any technology product or company in general). That’s just… weird.

      • Convert
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed, I rarely use another browser other than IE anymore (third party apps that integrate with it). FF IMO was the greatest browser available before IE7 came out, I used it while it was still in beta even.

      FF and grease monkey still come in handy though.

      • green
      • 11 years ago

      i like firefox due to the addons
      there are some that are just too useful to me

      i might go another round looking at addons for other browsers for equivalents
      but at the moment i’ve got 11 addons that i really would prefer having the ability to do

    • titan
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll get it when it’s on Windows Update.

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    I’m only using it for porn mode 😛

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 11 years ago

    Using this browser is like wading through salmonella-infested peanut butter.

    • Madman
    • 11 years ago

    Well, it’s a step in the right direction, but still IE is not faster than FF3 on my PC, then there are broken pages already (in both compat and regular modes) and IE cheats with page loads. Images are loaded after the circly thing stops spinning.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    Ah well, I’ll download it just to be up to date. I can’t see myself using it though, except for when I hit a site that won’t render properly, which happens far less often now than a few years ago. Huzzah for competition-induced standards compliance!

    • toyota
    • 11 years ago

    seems pretty stupid that when you go to the main page IE page and click on the download link its 32bit only. if you go to the tour page and click on it it then goes to the page that lets you choose what os and whether 64 or 32bit.

      • Taddeusz
      • 11 years ago

      When I clicked to download it automatically selected the 32-bit version here at work on Vista 32-bit and the 64-bit version at home on Vista 64-bit. Not sure what happened for you?

        • Rakhmaninov3
        • 11 years ago

        I’m running Vista 64, but the link automatically downloaded the 32-bit version, I didn’t notice this, and I clicked on the .exe just to get an error message telling me the program wasn’t compatible with my architecture.

        Annoying.

      • mcdill
      • 11 years ago

      I found that I needed to use IE before the MS page would automatically offer me the 64-bit version with Vista 64. If I use Firefox, the MS page offers me the 32-bit version even though I’m using Vista 64.

        • toyota
        • 11 years ago

        yeah I was using FF too. thanks for letting me know it wasnt just me.

      • Vinceant
      • 11 years ago

      What’s wrong with the search function in IE? It works so similarly to FF3 that I can’t see any one complaining about it for just one browser.

        • evermore
        • 11 years ago

        I don’t like the search bar sitting up there, or anywhere. I can remove it in Ff, but have to use a 3rd-party app to remove it in IE7. Search isn’t something I always need visible. The UI in general and the lack of ability to change it is the primary reason I don’t install IE7. I may install IE8 at work if it’s faster (yes, our admins allow it), but if the UI still sucks it won’t go on my home machine. I’ll keep using IE6 for those times that something won’t load right in Ff.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          You’re one of the -[

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          If you have an F11 key on your keyboard you could try that 🙂

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    I’m liking IE8 so far…it’s very fast and stays running, which is more than I can say for FF3 at this point.

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      not sure what you mean, i’m ff3.1b3 and it runs smooth like butter. the only problem i have is that flash decides not to play video after two or three days of running.

        • funko
        • 11 years ago

        i have that problem in 3.0.7 as well. but IE and Chrome are free of this bug. …..sigh….. every browser has a weakspot

          • sigher
          • 11 years ago

          Might be a bug in flash that FF protects you from but IE happily lets overwrite buffers, who knows, that kind of thing I’ve seen more than once, that what seemed a bug was just more robust protection.

        • Chrispy_
        • 11 years ago

        q[

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 11 years ago

          That is interesting cuz at work, the best place to stress test anything, I have my FF running for 30 days at a time without restarting it and it works fine. Of course, I don’t have flash on it (and plan never to). If I need to view something that requires flash, I just download it and use a movie player. Cake and pie.

          So, I don’t think he was trolling, you??

            • Chrispy_
            • 11 years ago

            Trolling is like a taboo word on forums these days but don’t take it out of context. It’s an arrogant attitude to assume that just because FF3 works on your machine it can’t possibly crash on anyone else’s.

            Sure, Firefox has always been pretty damn stable (right from 0.82 when I joined the train) but if you’re avoiding flash and blocking scripts and generally stopping anything cool on the web from happening in your browser then I’d argue that you’re not actually browsing the web.

            Web 2.0 landed a long time ago and everyday people like your grandma and barely-literate schoolkids have been embracing it for years now. If you disable Web 2.0 then I’m not surprised you never see a browser crash. I suspect the now-dead Netscape Navigator would still browse the things you two use as “tests” but there’s a good reason it was killed off 😛

    • lamparalaptopiaguita
    • 11 years ago

    i am waiting until reading all the reviews to make a judgement. that said, big congrats to M$$$$$ for a browser that, for the first time in years, doesnt want to make me vomit in disgust.

    except the UI….goddamn get rid of that shit.

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      Congratulations for the dumbest comment in this thread.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        I do really like the UI of IE7+, I feel right at home with 8.

      • Hance
      • 11 years ago

      Cussing on the front page is a REALLY bad idea mmmkay.

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    I’m unimpressed. It’s actually slower than IE7 and Firefox on my Macbook with Vista 64, and forget about Chrome. Also it crashed the first time I ran it, but it hasn’t again yet.

    Still no desire to switch to this POS.

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      It’s faster on my home WinXP box. Just about usable, in fact. But I still plan to stick with Firefox.

      • green
      • 11 years ago

      l[<...It's actually slower than IE7 and Firefox on my Macbook with Vista 64, and forget about Chrome... Still no desire to switch to this POS. <]l why would you even consider switching to a browser that you need to fire up a vm to run?

        • bthylafh
        • 11 years ago

        Boot Camp. Sometimes I feel like spending a few days in OS X, other times I want to spend a while in Vista. If my drive was bigger, I’d try to triple-boot with Ubuntu as well.

      • alex666
      • 11 years ago

      Completely opposite experience: it’s clearly faster than IE7 and holds its own against the most updated FF. I would not call it a POS, as some thought went into this. All that said, I still mostly use FF.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 11 years ago

    i’ll have to give it a spin

    • Hance
    • 11 years ago

    Hmmm guess I am out of luck IE 8 isn’t for windows 7

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      But W7 RC is really bound to come out with the final IE8 now, I guess. 3 more weeks, sit tight.

        • Hance
        • 11 years ago

        I am not much of a IE fan anyway so its no big loss. I used Opera for years because I didn’t care for IE. Odds are this version wont wow me either.

          • BKA
          • 11 years ago

          Yea, after using Speed Dial in Opera, I can’t go back. I was hoping for some feature like that in IE8. Haven’t found anything yet.

    • NeXus 6
    • 11 years ago

    Is there any reason to install the 64-bit version because Flash isn’t supported yet?

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      That _[<*[

        • NeXus 6
        • 11 years ago

        That’s fine if you never visit YouTube or other video sites.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          One reason for 64-bit IE used to be that it had greater cipher strength, but IE8 uses 256-bit in both versions now, so those 3 people who felt safer with 64-bit IE7 will not have to make a decision anymore.

          That is, until Adobe finally wake up and finish a 64-bit Flash plugin and/or other compelling applications surface that promote 64-bit browsing.

          • Madman
          • 11 years ago

          Flashblock for FireFox FTW!

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 11 years ago

            Hey buddy, you’re not allowed to say that ’round here.

            • Madman
            • 11 years ago

            Well, you always disable it when you visit TR!

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          Tools > Manage Add-ons > Enable or Disable Add-ons…

            • NeXus 6
            • 11 years ago

            The point I was making is that the 64-bit version of IE is useless if you view video sites with Flash players.

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      you have to install the version that corresponds with your OS. when you install the 64 bit, you actually get both, just like is there to begin with

        • NeXus 6
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, I downloaded it for Vista 64-bit and have both versions installed. I was assuming it had separate x86 and x64 versions as an option.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      You have to start somewhere.

    • Hance
    • 11 years ago

    I cant decide if I want to get brave and take a chance of hosing a system with it or not.

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      take a chance, Hance

        • TheEmrys
        • 11 years ago

        Take a chance, Hance? Isn’t that a line from a ABBA song?

          • no51
          • 11 years ago

          No, I think it’s more in line with Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

            • Darkmage
            • 11 years ago

            Reimagined for the modern age: “110010 Ways to Switch Your Browser”

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      That’s what virtual machines are for.

      Of course, I’ve got a site license for Windows here.

    • 5150
    • 11 years ago

    Does it come pre-installed with Antivirus 360?

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      Someone needs to get a cane and pull this comedian off the stage.

        • NeXus 6
        • 11 years ago

        LOL. Have you ever tried to uninstall it? Talk about a nightmare.

          • khands
          • 11 years ago

          Just did for a client, Avira rescue disk works wonders.

          • thecoldanddarkone
          • 11 years ago

          They’ve gotten worse from when they first started.

          • BKA
          • 11 years ago

          Malwarebytes gets rid of it with no problem.

        • flip-mode
        • 11 years ago

        I laughed.

        • 5150
        • 11 years ago

        Try the veal.

    • Faiakes
    • 11 years ago

    Is IE8 safer or faster (God forbid both…)?

    Should we not install it on the principle that it ‘breaks’ web standards?

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Do you have any idea what you’re even talking about?
      It’s safer _[

        • [TR]
        • 11 years ago

        Wait, MS has standards?!

        • sigher
        • 11 years ago

        Comes with all new exploits! (oh and at a recent contest some guy hacked IE8 in no time and won 5 grand I read earlier, so don’t even start to deny it. Mind you FF and opera were just as easy to hack I understand)

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          new features = new exploits.

          that’s just the way of the software development world.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Yet they couldn’t figure out how to remember passwords from special or Java-based input boxes. Firefox does it, what magic is this!

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