Internet Explorer 8: Huge Success or Epic Fail

Posted on June 9, 2008

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Well, it was not five minutes ago that I was downloading the new internet explorer 8 on a virtual machine (Windows XP) and I have to say that so far it’s looking good. So, without further ado, let’s start our IE8 adventure!

Step 1 in installing ie8 is going to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/getitnow.mspx (Note: The software is still in beta) and downloading the file. Surprisingly it is a very small download at 14MB and only takes about 5 minutes to download. 

Step 2 is installing the browser. This process is almost fully automatic and is about as fast as the install (although it requires you to restart your system afterwards).

And that’s it with the install. Pretty easy, eh? Well, now it is time to run the browser through its paces and then we will explain its features. After that we will cover the pros and cons, then finally we will give it an overall rating. 

 

Internet Explorer 8 in all it\'s glory.

 

Well, I did some speed testing and I turned up a few pretty good results:

 

Loading youtube: 3.79 (Seconds.Milliseconds)

Loading ustream: 14.38

Installing Adobe Flash Player 9: 14.69

 

So, what are the features of this browser? Well, we will start off with the most interesting one: the fact that you have the option to emulate ie7. Yes, you can emulate ie7. This was the main feature that first caught my eye when I started the browser. So, what does it look like? Well, just look at the screenshot below to find out!

 

Yes, I admit that this feature did not impress me one bit. At first glance I was excited but there are virtually no changes to the interface, even after I restarted the browser as it told me to.

Now let’s move on to the next feature, called WebSlices. Basically this feature allows you to take a “slice” of the page and monitor it. So, does it live up to it’s expectations as a handy tool? Well, quite honestly I cannot give you an answer to that question. Mainly because the webslices is a very hard feature to even find! Hopefully this won’t be the case as we move on to the next feature called Developer Tools.

Now this was a fun one do do 🙂 Basically DT allows you to view the scripts, css and HTML on the web page you are viewing. It also makes it easier to edit your web site (provided that you have one). After toying with it for a while I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed a  good tool for developers and web designers but is a bit too much for the average joe. Most casual browsers will stay away from this one. 

The next feature that we are going to look at is the “Activities” feature. Apparently this feature allows you to “quickly access a service from anywhere on the internet” (as microsoft puts it) however, I cannot seem to find this feature in ie8 either…

 

Anyways, here is my final summary:

It has a very nice, clean interface and a few new features. However, it is still much like IE7 and not so innovative. 

But it still hasn’t crashed on me 🙂

So, is it an epic fail or a huge success? Well, personally I think it is in between. It certainly is not as innovative as Firefox 3 but I still recommend upgrading from IE7 once the full (non-beta) version comes out, especially if you are a developer.

 

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Posted in: News, Reviews