Windows 7: Internet Explorer 8 overview

So far, in our Windows 7 Overview series, we have published the following:

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from Here is an overview on the new and fresh Internet Explorer 8 browser.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2
Back in August, the Internet Explorer team announced the availability of Internet Explorer Beta 2 and it became obvious that Internet Explorer 8 would be Microsoft's preferred browser in its next version of Windows. Without any doubt, Internet Explorer 8 is the default browser installed in Windows 7. The current IE 8 build version given to beta testers is 8.0.6001.18344 and that in Windows 7 Beta is 8.0.7000.0.

So, what makes IE 8 special? - Loads of new features - Features that many users would like to have in IE! Lets have a quick look on IE 8.

Accelerators lets users complete their usual browsing activities more quickly. Activities like searching the web, searching for a location online, blogging is now just a few clicks away in IE 8. Activities pop up when a portion of text is selected in the browser.

Web Slices
Web Slices, as their name suggests are portion of a web page which keeps constantly updating with new content when available. It is very easy to keep up with the updates using web slices.

InPrivate Browsing
This is one of most notable features of IE 8. InPrivate mode disables the browser from storing any information like browsing history, cookies etc., Users can now browse privately and do not worry about things getting remembered by the browser!

Seek and You Shall Find
This is one of the very useful update for IE and many users will love it! Users can now search inline for text by default. This is certainly the most requested feature that anybody would ask for!

Improved Search Bar
Unlike in IE 7, now users can choose their search provider as they type. This makes it very easy to switch between different search providers!

One other addition added to the Search Bar is the search suggestions. Search suggestions give users detailed suggestions for their search. It also provides visual suggestions if provided by the search provider.

Tab Grouping
IE 8 groups similar tabs that originate from same source and adds a color to easily differentiate with other tabs opened. Now it becomes very easy to identify the groups of tabs that are related to different activities.

Preserve Favorites Websites Data
In previous versions of IE, when you delete the temporary internet files, it deletes everything along with the website cookies. In IE 8, this can be configured so that they can be saved when the temporary files are deleted.

Automatic crash recovery

If a website or add-on causes a tab to crash in Internet Explorer 8, only that tab is affected. The browser itself remains stable and other tabs remain unaffected.

IE 8 and Superbar
IE 8 has been nicely integrated with the new superbar. Superbar shows preview for each tab opened in IE 8 and makes it really easy to open recent pages visited using the Jump Lists.

To access the jump list, either right click on the IE 8 icon or move the IE 8 icon upwards on the superbar.

Overall, IE 8 is a nice addition to Windows 7. Its blazingly fast than its previous versions and comes with a fresh new look that is more suited to the Windows 7 theme.

Yes, the title bar is transparent in IE 8!

IE 8 is currently in beta 2 and it is anticipated that a final version will be released when Windows 7 hits RTM. Windows Vista and Windows XP users can download the beta 2 here. Remember that the Windows Vista and Windows XP IE8 versions cannot be installed in Windows 7.

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Check out - The Great Test of Web Browsers :)

Tested browsers:

Apple's Safari WebKit Nightly 3.2.1 (Build r39682)
Google Chrome (Build 7716) Google Chrome (Build 7716)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2
Minefield (Firefox 3.2 Pre-Alpha 1) Minefield (Firefox 3.2 Pre-Alpha 1)
Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 2
Netscape Navigator Netscape Navigator
Opera 10 Alpha 1 (Build 1219m) Opera 10 Alpha 1 (Build 1219m)
SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 2 SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 2


1. Size after installation
2. ACID3 Test
3. SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark 0.9
4. Kane's Web Browser Javascript Benchmark
5. Dromaeo JavaScript Performance Test Suite
6. V8 Benchmark Suite - version 2
7. SlickSpeed Selector Test
8. CSS Selectors Test
9. CSS Rendering Benchmark
10. GUIMark - Flex 3 Version
11. GUIMark - HTML Version
12. RAM memory usage - 1 page
13. RAM memory usage - 10 pages
14. Memory leak test
15. First time browser start
16. Second time browser start
17. Work comfort with browser

Oryginal link (polish):

Translated by Google (english):

skynetXrules said,
you missed one browser : chrome 2 pre

I use Chrome Beta (Chromium), there is about 15 new builds every day!
Chrome 2 = new Chromium Build.

I compare Chromium Build 7716 to Chrome 2 and the first one was work little better.

tiagosilva29 said,
Why the hell do you people keep providing data tables as images? ****.

It was for polish users but...

If you don't understand I can translate image descriptions:

1. Wielkosc po instalacji = Size after installation
2. ACID3 Test - don't need to translate
3. Kane... - don't need to translate
4. SunSpider... - don't need to translate
5. Dromaeo... 1st test = (performance)
6. Dromaeo... 2nd test = (finished tests)
7. V8... - don't need to translate
8. SlickSpeed... - don't need to translate
9. CSS Selectors... - don't need to translate
10. CSS Rendering... - don't need to translate
11. GUIMark Flex3... - don't need to translate
12. GUIMark HTML... - don't need to translate
13. Zuzycie pamieci RAM - 1 strona = RAM memory usage - 1 page
14. Zuzycie pamieci RAM - 10 stron = RAM memory usage - 10 pages
15. Wyciek pamieci RAM = memory leak test
16. Czas pierwszego uruchomienia przegladarki = First time browser start
17. Czas drugiego uruchomienia przegladarki = Second time browser start
18. Komfort pracy przy 10 stronach = Work comfort with browser (10 open pages)
19. Zgodnosc ze standardami = Compliance with standards
20. Wydajnosc = Performance
21. Ocena koncowa = Final result
22. Ocena alternatywna = Alternative result

Should help.

Accessibility is what matters here. That's the point.
Screen readers will not read the images. Services will not translate the images. Robots will not parse the values. It's that much of a big deal.

IE8 is awesome and very speedy. Accelerators and Search box are spectacular. Maybe IE9 will have an even better rendering engine.

I tried IE8 on the beta for a while, it incorrectly loaded a few sites i regularly use, so I installed Firefox.

Can't wait for the Firefox team to integrate the Superbar into Firefox. =D

There is a button called "Compatibility" mode on the Address Bar. I guess you didn't notice that.

Sites still need to make sure their sites show up as standard compliant for IE8.

Thing is, the sites i go to are standards compliant, IE8 has a sucky rendering engine atm that ignores even more standards.

Why bother with changing compatibilities all the time if Firefox works flawlessly?

IE8 B2 has been around since August and IE8 RC will be released next week. SO WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME WRITING ANOTHER REVIEW OF BETA 2?

SORRY SIR BUT IT WILL HAVE THE SAME FEATURES. Also if you knew what you were talking about you'd realise we aren't reviewing beta 2 but the copy which is in Windows 7 which is closer to RC so yeah, think before you post.

rdmiller said,
Sorry. This page is garbled in IE7, so I couldn't read everything. I apologize.

I post all my articles in Neowin using IE 8 and Windows 7. So please check yourself before you tell something.

I personally have never really liked IE, but this is quite nice. IE 7 was a start but I think IE 8 seems to get much closer to the features provided by Firefox... Minus the amount of extensions.

Major problem right now is it Crashes all the time. Been running 7 since yesterday and every time something is acting up it's been IE 8. Also Each Tab is it's own process (sometimes.. it maybe two or three to a process), which should lead to better overall stability but doesn't.

And to agree with you Chris, the engine flickers and renders irregularly.

Oh well, it's still a beta, but looks promising.

seems the rendering has taken a turn for the worse? or sites specially coded for ie are now turning against the new standards complaint version? (example:

Really love it, apart from the amount of times it crashes.
You havn't mentioned the 'process per tab' recovery feature, although it doesn't always work yet.

Yes, it would suprise a few, if not most people using Windows 7 Beta 1 I think. Send feedback to the IE 8 people if you have a complaint, or suggestion, thank you.

s3n4te said,
IE suxors! Firefox rulez because of extensions and themes.

IEPro provides many of the features of FF3's most popular plugins in a single plugin, and is quite customizable. Kinda invalidates your claim, eh?,,, etc., are just a few examples of the superior simplicity firefox wields over msie.