Internet Explorer 8 Review – From all the aspects

This is one of the most honest reviews i am writing about a browser, as a few people asked me to talk a bit about Internet explorer 8 which is said to compete well with Mozilla firefox and Google chrome, and Opera not being in the competition.

internet explorer 8 logoInternet explorer 8 browser is the most promising one from Microsoft after a few failed ones which were the slower and ancient previous versions but IE8 has a few things to talk about which can challenge Firefox pretty well.

Starting off, the Tab feature is pretty cool but when you open a new tab, there are a few seconds eaten off for the tab to open completely as its not blank, and has a few things like suggested sites, options for browsing styles and other options which you can use to browse better, but a few seconds wasted for every tab to open, is not good.

The design of the browser is as always not good looking, and Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera all the browsers look far better in design than Internet explorer. Microsoft always does not impress me with its designs of all products(just except Zune HD)

Accelerators, a speed causing factor for IE8 is the shortcuts provided when you select some text or link in a web page, and you can do a bit list of functions with it. Sometimes when you have to translate some text to other launguage, you open some other website etc. to do so, but Accelerators does the same without leaving the web page. Just right click after selecting the text and select the needed option. There is not just that, but here are a few Accelerators -

  • Blog with Windows live
  • E-mail with windows live
  • Map with Live search
  • Search with Google
  • Translate with Live search
  • Search with other engines like Bing, Yahoo etc.

ie8 accelerators

You can add more or remove any of the present accelerators to make browsing experience better. I loved this option as Firefox too had the same but with less exposure of features, but IE8 has brought in many on-the-go features with Accelerators.

Visual search suggestions – When searching through the search toolbar, you get suggestions for searching better with the search engine you wish. Like when you search for some celebrity or something famous, you would see a small thumbnail beside the suggestion that can make your search easy, but only sometimes.
As it works only with some important keywords, and not everything that you might be searching, its not a useful feature.

ie8 search suggestions

Finding within a page got better with IE8 but everything is similar to other browsers. While typing in the keyword you are finding, the feature matches every alphabet you are typing to get things done faster. This is already a feature with Firefox and Chrome but IE users are seeing something new.

I tried to load some pages with heavy javascript in both, the older and newer version of Internet explorer and the speed of Javascript loading has got faster, also sites like Orkut which are mostly based on AJAX are loading better than the previous versions, so the performance is very much improved.

ie8Smart address bar – It suggests URLs while you are typing characters in the address bar when you forgot some website URL you previously opened. The address bar searches through almost everything like bookmarks, history and RSS feeds etc. to suggest URLs that you have opened before.

Web Slices*** – An excellent feature by Microsoft in IE. Using Web Slices, you can keep up with frequently updated sites directly from the new Favorites Bar. If a Web Slice is available on a page, a green Web Slices icon will appear in the Command Bar. Click on this icon to easily subscribe and add the Web Slices to the Favorites Bar so you can keep track of that “slice” of the web.
Web slices can be added from web pages, and when you hover over an auction item in eBay, you get an option to add it as a web slice, and then preview the auction item in a detailed way.

The way i could zoom in/out through the web pages, i liked the way the fonts are cleared made bigger without hurting the pixels. The zooming is done from the center, and not located to the area that you are viewing.

Security – Could not check for the security, but as Microsoft says, IE8 has got better safety from Malware and Phishing attacks. If IE8 notifies a website with malware or any threat, it automatically blocks the entire site and notifies the user about it.
Private browsing through InPrivate is another feature newly entered into the browser world, like the Incognito mode in Chrome, browsing through which you would see no information saved or cached.

Speed tab opening/closing test – I just got an idea to play with the browser and opened/closed many tabs together and opened websites, closed them down while loading and did everything very fast. Finally the browser Crashed after holding on for long. And then it recovered from crash with all the tabs opened in the same situation when the browser crashed. The tabs get automatically reloaded after you open the browser after a crash.

Moreover, when there is an add-on gallery for firefox, there is one add-on gallery for IE8 too, and it has thousands to add-ons which can personalize the browser.

There are many other things to talk about, but i have not tested a few, and would update this post if i see some other hidden options(which i don’t expect with IE8), and would review the add-on gallery of IE8 too which is a large database and easy to use. There is a Compatibility mode with IE8 which would be well researched and talked about, very soon.

Still, the speed which Microsoft claimed to be fast, was not so good when compared to Firefox and Chrome(which is the fastest of the three, maybe due to simplicity) but the previous Internet explorer version users would surely enjoy IE8 from every aspect, especially the improved tabs, web slices, accelerators etc.

One Comment
  1. Ed Lanphier
    June 22, 2009 |

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