Browser

A first look at Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta

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The Web browser war continues to rage in a sort of Cold War fashion and the latest salvo in the battle between Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox is IE8 beta. Take a look at this TechRepublic Photo Gallery to see what this newest version of Internet Explorer brings to the Web browser.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

33 comments
blue_eyed_romeo11
blue_eyed_romeo11

I tested the Beta and not only did it break 1/10th of the current sites out there, it decided to destroy my dhtml menu on my main site. Then there were the frequent lockups on sites with addons like flash and other activeX stuff. I ended up running it in Emulate IE7 mode all the time, and finally just uninstalled it because I am through testing this crappy beta.

mehfuz1
mehfuz1

nothing special here

peeusht
peeusht

Internet Explorer 8 Seems interesting but not compelling to make me use it .

Eduardo_87102
Eduardo_87102

it looks the same however i hope they fix some of the bugs that the IE7 has right now.

robertstar20
robertstar20

In response to your offer of figuring out what the 'Developer tools' are for; I can't help but notice that it looks like a straight copy of Firebug (http://www.getfirebug.com/), an extension for Firefox. A quick look at the website gives you a good indication of what it's useful for. For the record, I love Firebug.

freeze12
freeze12

More boring & horribly developed programs from Microsoft...still trying to compete with Firefox & failing miserably.

hakanopensky
hakanopensky

Crashes every time.I was sick of 7 .. this is a puke..

Eternal
Eternal

Umm what is that I see? I thought google search was a competitor to the MS Live search... Is MS giving in or what's the deal.. I'm still using IE 6.0.2900 at home and work(Work I use Mozilla, just cause it's the supported software). I haven't switched to firefox cause from somethings I find IE 6 works better... I do have it installed though

lonnie.mcrorey
lonnie.mcrorey

FireFox 3 far superior / It's like comparing a heavy wight contender against a fly weight! C'mon guys- I know the engineering talent at Google/Firefox...Microsoft can not compete against Google salaries nor talent. It is evident in Firefox products. Sorry to burst your bubble.

lonnie.mcrorey
lonnie.mcrorey

FireFox 3 far superior / It's like comparing a heavy wight contender against a fly weight! C'mon guys- I know the egineering talent at Google/Firefox...Microsoft can not compete against Google salaries nor talent. It is evident in Firefox products. Sorry to burst your bubble.

bsparker
bsparker

so I have loaded the beta IE8 on my machine and found that it is well very much a alpha, In standards mode it has trouble rendering most of microsoft's own sites, it did seem snappy but very buggy. Having to restart to the browser for almost every change in the settings. Having run FF3 since the original open beta it never felt like a beta it ran all the sites I wanted it to with out any errors. Besides the fact that most pluggins are only now starting to work with FF3 again I cannot see any reason to run IE8.

jackgoldston
jackgoldston

good for webdevelopers but it doesn't seem easy for people that aren't web developers it sounds to hard for the simple internet users.

Nice Techie
Nice Techie

All I see is the same old explorer with added firefox abilities and one more annoying automatic tab opening to show the "whats new" in the very plain, boring, IE.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I've yet to see any web browser that's something outside of plain and boring, lol. I liked Firefox when it came out, but most browsers look the same to me these days. Some have features that others don't so it is simply a matter of personal preference. I've had them all crash on me personally, so I don't see any as being more stable than the rest. And as for plain and boring...none of them jump out and scream "exciting" unless you just googled jessica alba

nickrusso
nickrusso

Looks like more confusion. MS has made a mission of destroying the interface they have been giving us for years. What's the zoom control doing on the status bar? Every other app (incl. MS) has it at top. Are we still stuck with those silly icons on the RIGHT of the window? Can we have our menus back, please? AT the LEFT? Refresh/Stop should be to the left of the address bar where you are most likely to have left your mouse cursor if you type in the address bar or used one of the directional controls (like where it used to be, duh). Can we interchange where we place the links bar, the address bar and the Menu bar and put them on the same line to save space? That address bar is awful long! Or are we still stuck with on/off? Can we get rid of that silly bar of icons that's taking up tab space? Too bad there hasn't been an on/off for this useless bit of eye candy. Maybe 8 will have it! But I'm not holding my breath. Articles like this should highlight truly useful elements and changes, unless there are none. Hmm, maybe that's what you did. I know I can't wait to get WEB SLICES! I don't know how I have been living without them! I suppose we should count our blessings that we still have a title bar and max/restore/close buttons. All I really wanted was IE6 with tabs, honest!

geo
geo

I don't see anything there that would move me away from Firefox either. Emulate IE7? Does that mean sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't? (?`?._.?ns??v??._.???)

zage
zage

I avoid using IE7 the most of the time; just in Microsoft-based websites. I love to customize it; i.e. the buttons of the browser, movable bars to make more room space, etc. In the other hand IE is no user-adaptable. IE8 came with the same behavior. So I will continue using firefox until something better comes out. It is very customizable, fast, secure and had grown and mature very fast. Microsoft, nice try.... ;)

dareeves
dareeves

With the old browser wars gone, IE8 is a nice try like vista. Just not worth it. However with FF3 slowing to a grind it makes me wonder what the F@CK they did to the code. It might be enough for people to switch back to IE. I still prefer ff myself but unless they fix it I'll be going back to v2 until they pull their heads out of MS's arse.

misceng
misceng

If the TechRepublic page does not render properly in IE8 is that due to MS at last complying with W3C standards and TechRepublic coding to old MS standards? Alternatively has MS produced another bastard standard?

techrepublic@
techrepublic@

My current web audience is around 40% IE6, 20% IE7, 30% FF2, 8% other web standard browsers and remaining 2% old and non standard browsers. At present I code for a subset of the standards (e.g. CSS3 is not yet mature enough but getting closer). Then I make the necessary correction for IE6 and IE7. These corrections take 30% or more of the development time. With the new IE8, I expect the situation will get worse! IE8 will most likely still not clear all those IE6, will coexist with a percentage of IE7s that can not be ignored, and we, the web developers, will have to code exceptions for yet another "low standards" browser! Thanks Microsoft! "Thanks a lot"!

evilkillerwhale
evilkillerwhale

...judging IE8 before you know anything about it. High five for prejudice! My main focus right now is web development. I typically use Expression Web, because WYSIWYG is much better, and much prettier than hand code. Obviously, since my sites are flash integrated, there is still a great deal of code by hand. Anyway... I upload the site, and every time it works with IE6, IE7, and FF2 and every FF3b. It works with Camino, it works with the PSP and PS3 web browser. I never have a problem with those. The only issue I EVER have is with Safari, where certain fonts get replaced, and where certain sizes aren't correct. It's like it completely ignores my font families and my CSS. I would LOVE to hear about issues you've had with IE6/IE7, and what program you use to code. If you use notepad (textedit on mac, etc), then step off man. DreamWeaver, Expression Web, and others (like notepad++) have no problem what so ever, in my experience.

techrepublic@
techrepublic@

There is lots of information about IE8 and also a beta version we can play with, so I'm NOT "judging IE8 before you (I) know anything about it." I think IE8 is a big improvement over IE7 and a HUGE improvement over IE6. In fact IE8 in it self is not my concern. As I have stated in my post, my problem is that there are still LOTS of IE6 around that where not upgraded to IE7 and I "fear" that after the launch of IE8 there will still be many IE6 and IE7 for a long time, and in about two years IE9 will join the party. All these IE browsers (will) have their quirks that need to be taken in to account, this means extra work to get the same final result, even if you use a WYSIWYG editor that does most of the work for you. My favorite web site structure is to have the content in XML (either generated or static), have it transformed to XHTML using XSLT, on the client side (browser) if possible or in the server if not, and style it with CSS. Add some javascript to the mix for some widgets and form checking. I'm also using XUL for intranet application and am planning to put some XUL in the Internet very soon. Firefox is hitting a browser share that makes this option attactive. [Off Topic: I have been using a XUL webmail/calendar/organizer application from my ISP that puts to shame all other webmail/calendar/organizer application I have seen, and I have seen many.] I don't like WYSIWYG editors, I (almost) always write better code with less work by hand. That does not mean I do my work in notepad, I do like code completion and inline context help very much! :) As for IE6 and IE7 issues, lets see ... the necessary adjustments to CSS and Javascript come to mind but my "favorite" one is to have IE6 freeze the entire system (windows XP) just by looking at a "nothing special" HTML page, no flash, no java, no video, just HTML text and a few images. Solved the problem by doing small changes to the HTML. Never determined what the problem was exactly (it just tickled IE6 the wrong way :) ). IE7 also had trouble with some of the widgets from my library, in particular it was VERY SLOW displaying CSS cascading menus with more than 4 levels. Nothing that some changes to CSS did not solve but that is exactly my problem with all these IE in the wild, every single version needs extra work for things to work. By the way, I found "Expression Web" and it's ancestor, FrontPage, to be more of an obstacle than a helper when trying to get things to work, especially in XML+XSLT+CSS+JS scenarios. This is just my opinion based on my personal experience. If my "way" works for me, and it does, and your "way" works for you, and from your words it does also, then we are both right even if not in agreement!

Lateralnetworking(TM)
Lateralnetworking(TM)

after wrecking my computer installation with sp3 for xp I am not going near a beta ie8 Besides from the screen shots it looks like they still have the dumb address bar and then the search bar and if you are like me you will also have another bar ... Google with yet another search bar. Refresh is still in a stupid spot should be next to the back and forward keys. That goes for stop also. Instead just have an address bar with a toggle to allow search or web page. Less wasted screen space. One last thing, IE7 EMULATOR!!! Is it every time MS get graduates that they tell them to screw up the user interface? IMO

rchaplic
rchaplic

microsoft automatic updates downloaded sp3 to my computer which destroyed my computer to ware i had to reformat my computer because it would not even start windows so now i'm weary of getting ie8 til i see it work with everybodies computer. i have been a microsoft person for years but now i'm starting to think again before i jump into something micosoft first puts out. there trying to out do the other companys just to keep up and making some bad mistakes. i'm watching you closly microsoft

spiritbear928
spiritbear928

SP3 is beta. You really have to look for it. If you installed SP3 it wasnt from WIndows update. Also SP3 seems stable but I wanted IE8 and it WOULD NOT install on a system with SP3. I tried to uninstall SP3 and got the BSOD. So if you have SP3 dont try to uninstall it. If you dont, hold off for a while. IE8 seems harmless now that I have it on an SP2 system.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

One of the more interesting features in IE8 beta is the Activity and WebSlice concepts. The idea is that you can highlight a word on any Web page and right click it for a list of potential actions. Like getting a quick map of Chicago. What do you think about that concept? Are you developing your Web sites with IE8 and Firefox 3 in mind?

chaynes33
chaynes33

Yahoo has LiveWords in their messenger as well. I have it turned off and will do the same with WebSlice because it is too damned distracting. And NO! I will not go get the beta ver. of W IE. Nor will I upgrade to W IE-8. Just another glitzy peice of crap like they did to MS Media Player-11. I think even less of the Napster logo sitting there like a poorly designed advertisement sign. As some one else mentioned about screen realestate, it seems as if the software comming out of Redmond, WA wants to take even more. Remember when MS Windows came with your first mouse? I do. (still have it some where in my collection of crote) Personally, I would rather that Microsoft concentrate more on security than anything else. I don't want any more tool bars. Just improve the one that is there. Security updates? Piracy security is what they are most worried about. Read the EULA. Seems the "pirates" are doing a better job of it again. Will they ever keep up? Welcome Ubuntu. Microsoft must be listening.

evilkillerwhale
evilkillerwhale

Vista has less exploits than Mac or any Linux distro... the study done for potential number of exploits showed Vista followed by XP having the least, and Linux (specifically Ubuntu) was the worst. Microsoft already MADE the most secure system. The problem is, EVERYONE attacks windows. Who cares about attacking mac? And since most Linux users know not to install things marked trojan. anything, the viruses don't really matter there. If people copy windows illegally, who is that bad for? It's bad for MS and it's bad for the people who pay for it's wallet. It's not bad as far as viruses... WMP11 works 1000 times better than WM10... albeit, in my experience it is slower. But it adds so many tools to get new music, to find data about your old music, to better organize your media, etc. It's better integrated with everything else, and looks way better... Ubuntu... fun to play with. Crappy to work with. Even more so than OS X on the crappy to work with. And less fun...

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

I find it odd that Ubuntu was below XP. I know Ubuntu is not OpenBSD, but it has very few if any services running to exploit out of the box, which leaves http, and no activex or java by default...