Microsoft release IE8 beta 2

Microsoft have released English, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese beta 2 versions of Internet Explorer 8. The installer weighs in at 23.1 MB and users will be required to remove beta 1 before it can be installed.

Windows Vista users will have to dig deep to find the uninstaller for beta 1, it is located under: Control Panel, Programs & Features and in the left menu: "Installed Updates" under the listing Windows Internet Explorer 8. You will then be required to restart your system before beta 2 can be installed.

Neowin obviously needs some work, as some pages can only be viewed correctly in compatibility mode which can be activated in the address bar like so. IE7 mode is there, but has been changed to this handy new/updated feature which allows only certain sites to display in compatibility mode, while retaining native mode for other websites and/or tabs.

Screenshots: Click here for a gallery of the install process
Download: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 | 12 MB (x86) 23.1 MB (x64)
Link to: Neowin Forum Discussion + Feedback on IE8 beta 2

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55 Comments

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Should've done some more searching before I installed this thing. First page I opened locked it up!!

Another fine POS from MS!!

No way to uninstall now either. Well, may have been time for a reformat anyway!!

Thank goodness for Seamonkey and Kmeleon!!

I like it so far, no problems here, except for a few sites that don't display properly, that's expected and turning on compatibility mode for those sites fixes the problem, there's a setting to add any sites you want to a list so that Compatibility Mode is automatically turn on for them when you browse them, you can also turn compatibility mode ON for ALL sites if you wish.
I wish MS used the same icons for XP and Vista though, the XP ones are uglier IMHO.

I've noticed a few bugs in things like deleting imported bookmarks from firefox can cause minor issues at times, had a bit of a crash as well but nothing to major. Took longer to install than I had expected, still prefer Firefox. Even in IE8 managing your bookmarks is a disaster.

I'd love to use this, but unfortunately, it has a problem with Windows Live Mail (according to the release notes). Hopefully this will be fixed in the final build. And hopefully that comes fast!

Hmmm... it does? I guess I;ll have to go look. Installed it on 3 machines, going to Live Mail just fine, not even in compatibility mode... perhaps some features are busted but I did not find them yet.

(BigBoy said @ #25.1)
Hmmm... it does? I guess I;ll have to go look. Installed it on 3 machines, going to Live Mail just fine, not even in compatibility mode... perhaps some features are busted but I did not find them yet.


Well, MS's site says the actual Windows Live Program will not work: when you go to compose a new E-mail (among a few other things), the program will crash. ^_^

Though I am playing with the idea of installing IE8 Beta 2 for a couple of days, then just uninstalling it after I check it out. Is it painless to uninstall and revert back to IE7?

(2Cold Scorpio said @ #25.2)

Well, MS's site says the actual Windows Live Program will not work: when you go to compose a new E-mail (among a few other things), the program will crash. ^_^

Though I am playing with the idea of installing IE8 Beta 2 for a couple of days, then just uninstalling it after I check it out. Is it painless to uninstall and revert back to IE7?

Well, an update: now the Release Notes page says Windows Live Mail *does* work with IE8 Beta 2. I've been running Beta 2 all day here with no issues so far on my WinXP Pro SP3 machine.

Internet Explorer Beta 2 won't start for me. I've installed/uninstalled it three times already and once I click on the icon (any icon) to start it it opens for half a second and then closes. I've reset IE8 and 7 to all default settings and I've uninstalled many add-ons and toolbars figuring that would fix the issue but no luck. I can get into the settings via the control panel but nothing I have changed there works. I've tried no add-on mode with no luck. I've also tried getting rid of the discuss office toolbar and that didn't work either. I don't know what else to do. My system is a P4 3GHz 2GB DDR running WinXP Pro SP3. It seems to install fine but refuses to start for more then a half a second. When I click the start icon the iexplore.exe shows for s split second in the windows task manager. I'm lost...

I installed the beta early this morning and used it twice since. I still prefer Firefox. For what it's worth, I'm running Vista x64. Sorry Microsoft, just not enough compelling reasons for me to switch back. Better luck next time!

Neowin obviously needs some work, as some pages can only be viewed correctly in compatibility mode which can be activated in the address bar like so.

Um, Neowin looks great in Firefox. It's obviously IE8 that needs some work.

(Darrian said @ #20)
Um, Neowin looks great in Firefox. It's obviously IE8 that needs some work.

It actually probably has to do with neowin's version checking and is trying to run code meant for ie6/7 in ie8.

I give up on it for now. I will give it another shot on the next beta. I really miss Adblock Plus but the bigest problem is it is SLOOOOOOOOOW. I just can't take it anymore.

I just timed how long the Neowin main page takes to load:
FF3 - 5secs
FF3 with Adblock Plus turned off - 5secs
FF3.1a2pre - 3secs
IE8b2 - 23secs
IE8b2 - 17secs (Compatibility Mode)

I browsed to the page in both browsers and let the page fully load. Then I closed both browsers. I opened FF and then went to Neowin and clocked it. Then I closed FF and opened IE8b2 and did the same. I have my home page in both browsers set to about:blank so no resources are wasted before going to Neowin. 17secs to load a page that is already cached? That is pathetic.

ie7pro's Adblocker does work with ie8. Just add an exception for Neowin thought.
23 secs is a lot. Neowin loads for me within a sec.

It's been working fine for me, loads as fast as it used to, not using compatibility mode btw. Though I do see problems, but minor ones for me.

Wow does it look terrible!

Neowin, MySpace, Facebook all dont work with IE8.

Ive had to turn on "compatibility mode for all websites" to get it working. With the new engine turned off everything looks the same as IE7 but draws and appears a tiny bit faster.

OMG!!! When in the world is MS going to fix the favicon problems?!?!?! Give me a break. Such a simple yet incredibly aggravating bug. I wish there were more tab options. Mainly the ability to close a tabs when you double click on them. I know a middle click will do this but most mouses integrate the middle button into the wheel which sucks. I also would like to see inline spell check built in like FF3. I am also missing Adblock Plus from FF3. I am not used to havening banners flashing and animating all of the place. I even had one talking to me. This is a big step down. I know this will never get integrated into the browser and I can totally understand why. I am very excited about the improved find on page (Ctrl+F). I never could figure out why IE7 still had the same find feature from IE1. I also like there attempt at duplicating FF3's address bar.

Acid3 is stuck at 21. I thought MS was bragging about how IE8 was already hitting 100.

Oh one other thing that is driving me nuts is the search bar doesn’t open the results in a new tab. There must be an option for this somewhere. I can't find it. Maybe a registry setting or something? Anyone?

Overall I am very impressed with IE8. I just hope they push the plug in system as much as FF does. I need my Adblock Plus back.

(ermax said @ #16)
Acid3 is stuck at 21. I thought MS was bragging about how IE8 was already hitting 100.



I'm pretty sure they were only bragging about passing the acid2 test.

(jmc777 said @ #16.1)


I'm pretty sure they were only bragging about passing the acid2 test.

I think your right. I just tried to dig the artical back up and could only find news about them passing Acid2. But really Acid3 is BS anyways.

crashed a couple of times for me but "coolly" only the tab I was in went down the browser stayed up. Nice touch..and a couple of times the tab itself recovered..they should add that to firefox... browser is very fast. This browser when its done might just be usuable on a day to day basis and not just for work stuff that don't run on firefizzle...couple of sites "misbehaved" but compatibility mode kicked in nicely...the developers spent some good time designing this thing from the ground up and it showed.

My facebook (new design) is disable under IE8 and which Ad-block do you guys recommend for IE8? im running adblock pro but sucks for me. I wnat to block flash, frames by google ads, etc... any suggestion.
meanwhile im back to FF3

AdMuncher works great, blocks ads in every browser. Even blocks the commercials on hulu.com which the "Adblock Plus" plugin for Firefox can no longer do. There is no option to block ALL flash, but it blocks flash-based ads nicely. Been using it for many years, installed it on quite a few systems. Two thumbs up from me. Free to try for 30 days, about $25 to buy it.

Why don't you just disable flash....? That is of course if you want to block all flash.

One thing to realize too is that many of the advertising companies are finding ways to get around that stuff and still display it even though you have software in place to block said content. It was just like the IE "click to activate flash" thing. It was circumvented almost as fast as it was implemented. And, yes, I realize that it wasn't put in place to actually avoid you from activating it or using flash, more for licensing issues, but it's a perfect example.


People will find a way, especially money grubbing whores like those flash based advertising firms.

Anywho, I'm rambling on and it's time for bed.

It tends to crash when I open up my favourites, but to be honest, I don't use them much. BETA as expected though, making good progress. Noticeable speed improvements, and the behaviour additions (smart search, smart address, coloured tabs for related tabs etc) are a welcome change.

Installation required a restart on Vista 32 bit..but what app doesn't these days? I have noticed IE8 itself loads a lot faster ( no long "Connecting" tab text) and renders pages faster too or so it seems. I have the "InPorn" browsing on as well!! LOL!!

We havnt even switched to IE7 at my work due to compatibility issues with our web based software. I doubt we will be upgrading to IE8 anytime soon either.

Maybe you should upgrade your web-based software? That's what we did - it's made our Intranet developer's lives much easier since they don't have to fight IE6's bugs. Not that IE7 doesn't have its own quirks, but it's much better than IE6.

(JonathanMarston said @ #10.1)
Maybe you should upgrade your web-based software? That's what we did - it's made our Intranet developer's lives much easier since they don't have to fight IE6's bugs. Not that IE7 doesn't have its own quirks, but it's much better than IE6.

I agree and we have been trying to do that. I work for a Credit Union and our "banking" software is controlled by an outside company. They are the quickest to update their software. Not to mention that when they do, there is a TON of testing that needs to be completed before we upgrade to IE7. Just a lot of sensitive areas so we have to be careful is all...

Wow, just wow, 12 steps to finish the install. Ridiculous, they need to at least streamline the Installation process.

Firefox has a porn mode too.

Its called firefox.exe /p

Use the guest account or any other different account to browse the porn. Then just log it back to the default account when your done.

It is working great so far for me, I'm trying it under XP with SP3 and even though it seems slightly slower for me than IE7 the features make it worth, the only thing I don't quite like is the fact that selecting InSafe Mode opens up a new window instead of a new tab, but so far that's about it.

Serious?

Acid3 don't mean anythng in real world at present and near future, innovation, security, performance to name just 3 things are far more important.

Yes, I'm firefox user not MS fanboy, but do respect and support MS as I do Moz...

(thealexweb said @ #5)
Microsoft you'll have to do better than this to beat Opera, Mozilla and Apple. 21/100? The others nearly pass it completely.

Now if only anyone used 2 out of those 3 browsers it would matter. Safari... lol...

From a developer, wow its good great improvent.

Spell checkor on-fly would been nice.

Yes, Yes I know Firefox has similar via plug-ins, but IE8 is slight improvement on these.

Love InPorn mode.

(stevember said @ #4)
From a developer, wow its good great improvent.

Spell checkor on-fly would been nice.

Yes, Yes I know Firefox has similar via plug-ins, but IE8 is slight improvement on these.

Love InPorn mode.

No longer will our partners know of our porn habbits!

No way, it is so fast! and compatiblity view works good and in an instant and it seems it autodetects sites that require it.

t

Vista 32 bit installer is only 12Mb (with some change).

Recommend that you go to the official MS site to download, there are a whole pile of download links, not just one.