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Some Initial Comments on IE 8

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Message Timothy F. Newkirk
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Even though the interface is little changed, IE8 does have some major improvements over IE7. . .

Internet Explorer 8 has been designed to improve the performance of web applications. This is especially significant as more of our computing tasks are moving off the desktop and into web applications sponsored by Google and Java related services.

The new browser also contains each webapp in its own tab, allowing it to be saved even if other tabs crash. CSS support has been improved, with standard improvements in SVG and other audio/visual support to be added in later versions, it appears.

Other features are much new and improved, too.  IE8 has a smarter address bar than before.  Start typing a URL and a drop-down offers suggestions from your recent history and/or favorites, returning preliminary results as you type.  It also allows easy addition of a plug-in search engine to most any websites, complete with images, text and page descriptions.

IE8 even has a browsing mode to protect against scripting and other attacks.  You can even make context sensitive commands when you right-click on different page elements, for example by being given options to "Blog this" or "Search for this" or "Translate this."  Try it, you''ll easily figure it out.

There are new little features that will please, like a new bookmark manager and the ability to isolate and print a specific part of any page.

As most know, Mozilla has been ahead of the curve on many of these features, such as the smart address bar and the security protections for a long time. Opera is way ahead on emerging standards like those applying to CSS and HTML. Google Chrome too is ahead with its private browsing mode, with the ability to isolate web applications within tabs.

Microsoft's IE8 is faster than IE7, although it does use up more memory. Yet, it's still not the fastest or the most innovative of the browsers available. Overall, it serves the mainstream user well with its broader affinity for most on and offline applications, reflecting the reality that up to 75% of the web is particularly Microsoft friendly.

Presently, IE8 is a manual download- that may change in the near future for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and 3/ Vista users.

More later. . .But, any comments below now are appreciated.

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A native of California, Timothy F. Newkirk is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Among many other endeavors, he has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor and is a longtime political activist. He continues to advocate for (more...)
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