Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is now available for download by the public. Microsoft certainly needs to push IE8 out soon -- especially when considering the recent developments within the Web browsing market. The company is touting the premise that IE8 is the most secure, reliable and privacy-aware version of the product to date. Will it be enough to impress the users of other browsers while keeping up with the expectations from current users?Amidst developers concern that IE8 might break older Websites, Microsoft is pushing forward with IE8 by releasing IE8 Beta 2.
Why Bother with IE8?
Security: Microsoft touts security as one of the most important reasons for using Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't have a particularly welcoming record of having a secure Web browser -- perhaps the company has gotten its act together in this regard. Reliability: Essentially, Microsoft has taken great care to try and loosely create IE. Architecturally, the browser can be isolated and targeted for improvement. Also, an automated crash recovery system will be put into place so that you can get back to where you were if a crash does occur. Privacy: IE8 includes methods to help stop third-parties from tracking your moves on the Web. There are also new features that allow a user to control what information is retained in IE8 like history and cookies.
IE8 still maintains a similar look and feel to its previous incarnation, but these features are certainly better for the browser -- regardless of which browser people use. It helps in building a safer web.
Internet Explorer 8 Features
Microsoft has had some serious influence from Firefox, Safari and Opera -- the company is taking the time to catch up to the competition. IE8 will be the most impressive version of Internet Explorer in years. It has many of features that we are already familiar with, and a few new innovations as well:
* Smart Address Bar
* Improved Favorites Bar
* New Find Functionality
* Search Box Suggestions
* Web Slices
* Feeds on Favorites Bar
* Suggested Sites
* Tab Groupings
Overall, I would agree that Microsoft has done an impressive amount of work with IE8. Who knows, it might just end up being a browser that people could recommend to the average user.
The Competition's Heating Up
* Google Chrome: Google Chrome is making ripples throughout the blogosphere. The browser might contribute to hacking away at Microsoft's dwindling -- yet still prolific -- Web browser market share.
* Mozilla Firefox: Firefox 3 was released a few months ago, and many are thrilled with the progress that Mozilla has been making. Reliability, performance and functionality are constantly improving as the open source community makes bold statements.
It's not likely that IE8 will persuade Firefox users to make the switch, but IE8 really looks good on paper. The security and privacy features are looking quite impressive, but there is still the question of whether or not they will hold up.
The IEBlog has plenty of in-depth information about IE8's design process and news, so be sure to check that out. However, if you want to jump right into IE8 Beta 2, feel free to do so and let us know what you think.