Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Download & Features Revealed

Microsoft has put in place the preparations for Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 ready for Mix 08.
A full features page has been revealed which lists the following additions to Internet Explorer:

  • Activities
  • WebSlices
  • Favorites Bar
  • Automatic Crash Recovery
  • Improved Phishing Filter
Activities allow users to lookup/send information in a right-click contextual menu, such as retrieving an address map from Windows Live Maps, submitting a story to Digg, sharing a page on Facebook etc. WebSlices allows users to crop a specific area section of a site and bookmark it. Improvements have been made to the phishing filter which continues to block known Phishing sites and now blocks sites known to contain malicious software that could harm users' computer or steal their information.

Perhaps one of the best new features is Automatic Crash Recovery which recovers your tabs if your browser crashes. It is widely expected that Microsoft will release the first beta of Internet Explorer 8 at this years Mix 08 which begins today.

Update: The download is now live and can be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, Server 2008/2003

View: Internet Explorer 8 New Features
Download: Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1

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I've been running beta 1 for twelve hours, and the only page-rendering issues I have with it are common with *standards-compliant* browsers (not just IE 8b1, but Firefox, Opera, and Safari as well). I'm mostly *not* running it in *Emulate IE 7* mode, either. I threw the ACID2 test at it (the official one) and it passed without a hitch. Running it on Vista Ultimate + SP1 RTM x86. Go 8!

Just installed the beta on my Vista install (Vista Enterprise 32bit) - seems fine so far! Not a web dev or anything - just a normal browser user. As a nice little UI tweak, I like the way it fades the URL except for the domain so you can clearly see at a glance which website you're at.

Will keep experimenting on it but props to Microsoft for getting a public beta out - this really seems like it is being developer driven rather than "marketing" driven, so props to the IE8 devs.

Tried installing on XP SP3 RC2(3311) with IE6 and it was a no go, the system freaked out whenever tried to launch IE8. System Restore got everything working again.

It...It...It actually has a DOM Inspector of sorts! Oh, happy day!

However, it reminds me a little bit of the hidden developer tools in Safari... Box model illustrations anybody? IE has them just like Safari.

I can hear the rip-off trolls coming now... And in an attempt to satisfy those trolls, I shall present an argument: the entire product is not a rip-off of another product if only certain features are taken from that other product. BAM! Trolls died due to lack of argument. j/k

Installed-- now what really impressed me was the developer extension, it's head and shoulders above the IE6 one, and in some respects better than the Firefox one.

I don't really want to see a download manager, but a window where all the downloads are kept together (like in Firefox) would be nice.

(strekship said @ #90)
I don't really want to see a download manager, but a window where all the downloads are kept together (like in Firefox) would be nice.

IE8 NEEDS a download manager, Vista isn't too great at keeping a wireless connection active for me using a wireless adapter.

I sure hope MS doesn't add a download manager. It definitely doesnt need crap like that.
Does anyone know how to turn off AutoComplete in the address bar? mine is set to be off, but still does autocomplete, and I hate that crap. About the only prob I found with IE 8.

No way. They'll be sued by some one (GetRight? ) and EU Commission sametime for monopolizing of the market. It's allowed only for FF, Opera and Apple.

Seems much faster... Little buggy hence the BETA for Dev teams. BUT nice that they add that IE7 Emu button. ALL WORKS GREAT!! and still fast. Also alot of the options are easyer to get to ie: clear temp internet history and they make it customizable to as far as the deleting goes you can check the box for what you want to del. YAY!! Not that CCleaner didnt work but its nice to have. Still no imbedded spell check like firefox has... hence all the misspellings. :-P

NICE!

Installed it on my girlfriend's XP SP2 box and it broke Active Desktop in both native mode and IE7 emulation. Uninstalled perfectly.

(clickbouyow said @ #83)
Bah! Will not install on Vista SP1 Beta. Says OS not supported.

Why are you still running beta? Vista SP1 final (aka RC Refresh 2) has been available to the public for ages.

So far it seems more responsive. Also the webslice is nice. It does hang at points, but I'm excited to see what comes along. Hell, maybe I'd be tempted to move back to IE.

Thouroughly disappointed with the release. It doesn't render pages properly in the so called "Standards mode" and it lags when switching between tabs and typing. Also, I think it is using up more memory then it should [90MB for 3 tabs? Come on!]. Or maybe it is just my computer.

Oh well. It is still Beta 1. Microsoft have got a lot of work on their hands.

Wasn't there supposed to be a meta tag you could use to tell IE8 to render a page in IE7 mode?

The info located here (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/readiness/DevelopersExisting.htm) just tells you how to detect the browser so you can have two different versions of your page.

Still very rough aroud the edges, was to be expected of course. Many sites don't render properly and it's very sluggish in general.

I'm a bit disappointed by the webslices feature. I hoped it would be possible to webslice any feed but the feeds/pages have to be prepared for it. Nontheless quite cool. Try it out at ie8.ebay.com.

I wonder how they got MSN Weather into a webslice in the preview screenshots.

I love the new links bar, thats one feature from Firefox that I always wished IE had. The new address bar with the bolded domain is a nice feature I never would of thought of. Some of the sites I go to reguarly show up a little funny, but the IE7 emulation button fixes that. It does pass the acid2 to test for me.

Installed and uninistalled within ten minutes!

Looks very good but you can tell it is a beta 1. There were a few anomolies on different sites main one being MSN home page with a huge map being displayed and no way to get rid of it! Think I will wait for next beta and try again

Regards
Scoop

i already have my links on the taskbar, why would i want them as a favorites bar in ie? half of them don't have anything to do with the internet, they're local.

so that's useless to me, not a feature.

Does the XP version not have the Activities icon pop up (like they were showing in the videos). The menus are showing up when right-clicked.

I am also getting a 15-20 second lag when typing in the comment box here. Anyone else with the same problems?

Acid2 test:


Acid3 test:
17/100 (to compare, if I remember correctly Safari 3.1 Beta scores at 87 [might not be true])

FireFox Beta 3 - 59/100
Opera 9.5 Beta 1 - 60/100
Safari 3.1 (31A15) Windows - 76/100 (Webkit wins)


Small JavaScript Performance test: (same versions)
FireFox - 3174ms (It looks that problem is in string functions, it required a lot of time for FireFox, 35950ms)
IE - 1383ms
Opera - 1267ms
Safari - 721ms (Webkit wins)

(Midnight Mick said @ #68)
If I install this can I still use IE7 as well?

In a way, yes, you can. You would need to turn on the "Emulate IE7" feature.

IE8 beta1 passes acid2 test. It takes couple of seconds more than you would expect but it works. I mean there is a little bit of a pause while its rendering while you see an image which suggests it failed.

(Arch said @ #66.1)
It didn't quite pass for me, but it did very well. Only the eyes didn't render properly.

Same here. I doubt that Microsoft's test machines have the same exact configurations that I have, so I don't really expect it to render perfectly, especially since it is a beta. I must say that it is much better than it was though!

Fails for me here (Win XP SP2). Kept it open for full 5 minutes. And whats the score on Acid3? I get only 17. (No I did not turn on IE7 emulation mode).

http://pg55kw.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pUDk...C1XA/iAcid2.PNG

And it does something weird at Wikipedia. Looks like its painting text over and over again on top of the last painting, as we go down the page.

http://pg55kw.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pUDk...3rE0A/iWiki.PNG

And what the hell? They took the favicons away from address bar dropdown. I used them to quickly identify the site to go!!! Gmail works fine here, btw.

Edit: Not linking the images. Thats way to large.

I don't see what is the point of any browser passing acid3 test.
Some of the things that Acid3 tests like CSS3 is not even a standard right now. Many of the tests are based on W3C working drafts.

The Official ACID2 test IE 8b1 passed in a walk. Is the test also browser-resolution dependent? (You are aware that HTML pages are often designed for a specific resolution, and that displaying them at other resolutions can cause display issues?)

In my case, I run IE 8 at 1600x1200 (the same resolution I ran IE 7 at).

Damn, Internet Explorer sure turned into something far uglier than I could have imagined years ago! Way overcluttered for my tastes with those buttons disorganized and no menu bar. Guess it's a good thing I stick with Safari and Firefox!

(MulletRobZ said @ #63)
Damn, Internet Explorer sure turned into something far uglier than I could have imagined years ago! Way overcluttered for my tastes with those buttons disorganized and no menu bar. Guess it's a good thing I stick with Safari and Firefox! :D

Why some of you wont realize that its still BETA 1 , meaning that the UI is to be changed.

The menu bar is still there, hit 'alt' and it will pop up, you can also View-> toolbars-> menu to make it stay.
THe best thing to do is to right click areas and see what options pop up and you would have found the menu option.

Wouldn't having the menu bars and what-not always showing make it more cluttered? I mean, I thought the meaning of clutter was having unnecessary things just laying around.

(Alien Venom said @ #62)
IT DOES NOT PASS THE ACID TESTS WTF MICROSOFT

Stop screaming, and you're obviously doing something wrong. Others have already tried it and said it does.

Get a life mate, it passes it just fine. Maybe you turned on IE7 emulation or something.
For the record I'm using Vista x64 SP1.

(Express said @ #62.8)
I am running 64-bit. It passes.
I think Mr. Venom is running in IE7 emulation mode.

I am not running in ie7 mode and it didnt pass for me. this is 32bit vista.

(FISKER_Q said @ #62.10)
Quite an odd issue if one half can pass the test while the other half can't.

no, look at the URLs for both screenshots

(Emil Protalinski said @ #62.11)

no, look at the URLs for both screenshots ;)

Yeah I noticed that. As far as I'm aware, the official test is the one on the webstandards.org website. Those that fail the test from the acidtests.org website should try running the official test at http://www.webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html (which appears to be down at the time of posting this).

(FISKER_Q said @ #62.13)
I did see the URL, but why is it relevant?

Should render correctly, regardless of what domain it's hosted on.


The two pages are different. The one which passes has the object data source set to http://www.webstandards.org/404/
The one which fails has data source set to http://www.damowmow.com/404/.
The cross-domain access is by default disabled for data sources for security reasons.

You can goto Internet Options->Security->Custom Level and set 'Access data sources across domains' and tests will pass on both URLs!! :nuts:

I loaded the webstandards test in IE8 beta, and I got the scroll thingy first, then after a second it turned correct.

in MAxthon it seems to still be using the old 7 engine though, not sure if that's ebcause it runs ie8 in IE7 mode, or if maxthon is somehow still using IE7

(Express said @ #62.14)
The two pages are different. The one which passes has the object data source set to http://www.webstandards.org/404/
The one which fails has data source set to http://www.damowmow.com/404/.
The cross-domain access is by default disabled for data sources for security reasons.

You can goto Internet Options->Security->Custom Level and set 'Access data sources across domains' and tests will pass on both URLs!! :nuts:


Hey, thanks for the tip. It passes now.

(Express said @ #62.14)

The two pages are different. The one which passes has the object data source set to http://www.webstandards.org/404/
The one which fails has data source set to http://www.damowmow.com/404/.
The cross-domain access is by default disabled for data sources for security reasons.

You can goto Internet Options->Security->Custom Level and set 'Access data sources across domains' and tests will pass on both URLs!! :nuts:

Ah ok, i tried the cached version of the acid2 test on webstandards.org, but that one just redirected me to acid2.acidtests.org, so that's why i thought it was odd.

I'm running IE 8 beta 1 right now (typing this from said browser, actually), and I'm *not* in IE 7 emulation mode (simply because I want to compare the display of IE 8 to the earlier nightly of Firefox 3, which I also have installed). One quibble that I have (and it's apparently with the standards) is that any standards-compliant browser *consistently* left-justifies the comment box on this site (Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, and now IE 8 in normal mode). Is there a way (using the standards) to center the comment box (which is how earlier versions of IE display the comment box)?

As of noon PDT (1500 EDT), IE 8 beta 1's download links will be live. There's a video on Channel 10 that goes deeper in depth on IE 8 beta 1. (Yes, I'm gonna grab this puppy as soon as the download links go live). Not only does it support all the same standards as Firefox, it actually supports *more* standards (without extensions or add-ins) than Firefox.

On Silverlight: the mere fact that it's neither exclusive to IE *or* Windows should worry Adobe. The fact that it can replace both Flash and Shockwave (while being lighter on the client than either), should scare them.

now if only people would get their eyes open for Adobe reader alternatives, like foxitreader :)

With all this talk of vista beeing bloated, now what is Adobe reader?

available after keynote people.

:P

Silverlight is shaping up to be something special now. I hope to see more of it soon and that now you can use it in Vista gadgets make it even better.

hmm you could allways use it on gadgets, the XBL Friends list gadget has used it for a while now.

unless there's a 64 bit silverlight available now, since it didn't work on x64 because there was no Silverlight for x64

(Doli said @ #46)
nice debugger (looking at IE8 from Mix 08 live stream)
fantastic debugger! this is going to make life so much easier!

So far its not abig omg but its a gerat thing for web developers nbecause things will ook the same as in firefox and ie8 . HE is showing this off now between firefox beta 3 safari and ie 8

What a copycat...

Ain't some of those features actually originated from FireFox and its Extensions - eg. Adblock Plus,

So you'd rather they not include new features that have appeared in other products?

Then why not bitch about the fact Mozilla "copied" the address bar, navigation buttons, bookmark bar, customizable toolbar, search bar, tabbed bar and every other feature it's got from somewhere?

People these days. They just complain for the sake of complaining. I guess reading your posts before you post them is a thing of the past, no matter how stupid they are

p.s. I'm not talking about you virtorio

i love IE, but going to version 8 seems a little excessive for such a small changelog... dosn't look like any radical changes. Is there something big to come?

i'm not overly impressed so far.

I stay clear of Internet Explorer beta's. Learned my lesson back when IE6 was in beta. I don't need IE bugs brining down my whole windows install.

Wonder when the download manager will be in? they said it will definatly be in IE8 back in the IE7 beta!....... I've tried the 3rd party ones and they are too much for all I want... I just want something like firefox has...

Why though? It makes so much sence to have one. It is something that should have been implemented a LONG time ago when I was on dial up cursing the heavens everytime a 300mb download canceled half way through

Typical of MS marketing. Hey, let's post a dead link. That way, people will think we're actually doing something. Instead, they come away looking like a bunch of amateur dorks. They can't even be dependable in the small things. Look, if you don't have the product ready yet, then don't post a link. Wake up MS.

This is basically the same as Apple pulling their entire marketplace offline just to add a couple of updates. It's a marketing trick, create a buzz about something before it's actually there.

Every time that happens without a iexplorer8 beta 1 download link, a fanboy kill a kitten.

Please bill gates, think on kittens.


(Unto Darkness said @ #32.1)
Venting frustration on cute kitties is a bit too cruel don't you think? :P

Pretty much, anyways im still waiting to install it on my workstation and screw all the os. :-P

MIX 08 hasen't started yet from the looks of it, so we have to wait until that starts. That's when the download links should work. It would be around uhh 8am PST?

(GP007 said @ #31.2)
MIX 08 hasen't started yet from the looks of it, so we have to wait until that starts. That's when the download links should work. It would be around uhh 8am PST?

No, 9:30 AM. Dang, 1 hour 25 min and counting....

Spell check would have been a nifty feature..

Maybe we can look forward to some add-ons for IE 8, just like Firefox [In the final release].

So........no download manager, or a more space-efficient UI. More bells and whistles....... why why WHY? More fugly toolbars with more useless or redundant features.

this update vastly updates the standards compliance of the browser the W3C specs. This is a gigantic move in the right direction... BTW. a download manager, to me, is just more bells and whistles.

(seta-san said @ #29.1)
this update vastly updates the standards compliance of the browser the W3C specs. This is a gigantic move in the right direction... BTW. a download manager, to me, is just more bells and whistles.

+1

If you want a download manager, go install IE8Pro when it's released.

(seebaran said @ #29)
So........no download manager, or a more space-efficient UI. More bells and whistles....... why why WHY? More fugly toolbars with more useless or redundant features.

Why more bells and whistles? That's what producing a new version of a product is all about. Any other bright questions?

Of course IE8 is more standard compliant. Good, wonderful.

A download manager, however, is not a bell/whistle. It's a useful tool to view download history and pause progress. It's not a content-driven or service-driven item, and it aids in finding files quickly I need to open. It's a reasonable request. Look how long it took to add a Print Preview function!

As an instructional designer, I know pushing a product with more clutter is counter-productive to whatever it is you're trying to get done on the web. Keep what's important and useful on the front-end and leave the rest as optional add-ons.

(seebaran said @ #29.4)
As an instructional designer, I know pushing a product with more clutter is counter-productive to whatever it is you're trying to get done on the web. Keep what's important and useful on the front-end and leave the rest as optional add-ons.

A download manager is not important and not that useful for a great number of people.
On top of that it is a prime candidate for a plugin since it runs in its own window and needs little interaction with the host application.

Did you not read the article? Specifically the download link?

It doesn't matter yet though, the download links on that page are not yet live.

Nothing has changed at this stage, just some new features here and there. What would you expect for Beta 1.

(Sevan said @ #23)
Nothing has changed at this stage, just some new features here and there. What would you expect for Beta 1.

everything has changed, ie8 beta 1 passes the acid test

(XerXis said @ #23.1)

everything has changed, ie8 beta 1 passes the acid test

Hes talking about the UI, Sevan.. Most things in the UI doesnt change in a Beta 1.

What's the thing with the improved "Favorites Bar"?

It has been renamed the Favorites bar to enable users to associate this bar as a place to put and easily access all their favorite web content such as links, feeds, WebSlices and even Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

I haven't used IE in a while, but couldn't you already use the Links Bar for everything but WebSlices (being a new feature) before? I think that at least in Firefox and Opera, RSS links just pops up a submenu with the latest feeds, and there's nothing stopping you from placing local files in there either (I just checked on IE 7 and it worked there too)?

I just hope they allow the interface to be customized, or at least offer a classic IE interface. I always hated the one in IE7.

agree, i hate the interface of ie7 cant move the buttons, everything its so misplaced like the stop/reload button.

"Most notably, the Internet Explorer frame and its tabs are isolated into separate processes. In Internet Explorer 8, this isolation will allow improved performance and scalability, and richer ways to recover from failures (including crashes and hangs)."

Great stuff. IE8 sounds really exciting.

New features sound great... along w/ the new rendering engine (which supports web standards better)... :)
I think I'll use the Beta as well.

Not really getting excited about these new "features", but then again I think the best thing to ever happen to browsing was the addition of Tabs.
Still, I'm really glad to hear about the better standards compliance, long overdue but very welcome none the less and I'd be upgrading to IE8 based on that reason alone.

Tabs were added with IE 7. However, the trainload of new features (all of which are not only based on existing standards from outside Microsoft, but built into the browser, instead of relying on plug-ins or add-ons) is decidedly Not Good News for Firefox 3. Also, the fact that ACR extends down to the tab level is absolutely choice. Now, if the performance is *at least* as good as that of Firefox 3, then the ball is back in Mozilla's court (with heaps of topspin).

Nice, MS is finally getting behind some open initiatives.

From what I can see Activities and WebSlices are both based around Microformats (and pre-existing ones as well)

That's excellent, IE team needs some praise.

Edit: Holy crap, data: URI support, CSS print rules support, Selector API support, this is great.

Yeah, this really looks great. But one question I have, can you run IE8 and IE7 side by side? I wanna try out the beta but my main browser is IE7 and if IE8 is buggy and so on I don't wanna lose the stability I have with IE7.

(The_Decryptor said @ #9)
Edit: Holy crap, data: URI support, CSS print rules support, Selector API support, this is great.

And about damn time too.

(GP007 said @ #9.1)
Yeah, this really looks great. But one question I have, can you run IE8 and IE7 side by side? I wanna try out the beta but my main browser is IE7 and if IE8 is buggy and so on I don't wanna lose the stability I have with IE7.

Nope, The newer version overwrite the older version.

(The_Decryptor said @ #9.3)

Nope, The newer version overwrite the older version.

It has a feature that allows you to emulate IE7

the automatic crash recovery feature sounds great. I've had IE 7 crash on me so many times this feature will be useful

(ViperAFK said @ #6.2)
Firefox 3 does have it.

If your Firefox 2 crashes, it askes if you want to restore. Close enough.

I'm definitely running this as soon as it's available. Firefox is my main browser, so I can handle if there are any bugs with the beta. I'd like to see how the rendering and other things have improved.

i wonder if "webslices" uses the rss/atom format or some format of their own. I hope it's just another way of presenting feeds

buggar it has the link to download but its not active yet, was hoping to try this out. Oh well! Thanks for the heads up anyway

Link's active, just 1. doesn't work on Opera. and 2. takes a few reloads to get it. Gonna install it shortly. IE 7 always sucked in Vista. Would be nice to see something better.

Shoot, I'm guessing it doesn't want Vista SP 1 installed. Refuses to install says wrong service pack configuration. Figures.

If you have a version of SP1 *other* than the final, it won't install (I have the RTM SP1 installed, and IE 8b1 installed just fine). That could well be the issue.