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September 7, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2

Filed under Reviews, Software, Web


I tried out Google's new Chrome browser a few days ago. I downloaded Internet Explorer 8 (beta 2) today.

Initial reaction: everything I like about Chrome is already available in IE8.

What I like:

  • Passes the Acid2 test
  • Related tabs are kept next to each other with color coding. For example, when you open a link from another tab, both tabs will have the same color (see below)
  • The address bar highlights the name of the website in bolder text...nice touch (see "arstechnica" in graphic below).
  • Typing in the address bar will automatically search your history, or setup a search for the item...no need to go to Google to search for something.
  • Searching for text on the page is *much* improved. Just do "Ctrl-F" and type what you are looking for. All matches are instantly highlighted. Press "Enter" to move forward to the next search item or "Shift-Enter" to go back. Nice!
  • New tab has a list of last closed tabs...easier to get back to places you've already been (although I prefer Chrome's new tab screen because of the thumbnails and also the most frequented web page list).
  • Each tab is a separate process...a web page that crashes the browser doesn't hurt the other tabs.
  • Compatibility mode! Web sites that are not "web standard's compliant" may not work correctly in IE8...so there is a button next to the address bar that allows you to switch back to IE7 rendering. *Many* web sites do not follow the web standards (instead they are designed to work with the most popular browser...IE)...so this is a *very* important feature. This is my biggest gripe with Chrome...glad to see IE8 can work will all web sites. For example, I could not login to purchase an item on walmart.com via Chrome, but IE8 could do it.


Tab Color

This update puts IE in the same league as Chrome and Firefox. That being the case, I don't see a reason to jump ship.

After a brief flirtation with Chrome, I'm back to IE (8, beta 2) as my default browser.


Comments (9)


How about render speed and memory footprint? Chrome is notably lighter and faster than Firefox or IE7.

I also like that only 40 pixels are consumed on the top of my screen for UI gunk in Chrome. (I could do with even less!) IE still eats a lot of vertical real estate.

Also, I look forward to being able to build Chrome myself. I care about that! Maybe I can get rid of the window frame myself :)

I didn't do any tests of performance.

What I've read is the performance delta is not big enough to make a difference.


nuther way to ask the question then: Is IE8 faster than IE7 on websites you look at a lot?

I honestly don't spend a lot of time wishing my web browser was faster...so I think it is a non-issue.

Everything I've read says IE8 is faster than IE7.


If you are really worried about faster browsing wouldn't it be better to do any of the following:

1. Get faster internet connection.
2. Have less running programs running on your computer.
2. Get more RAM.
4. Get newer computer.
5. Restart your computer.
6. Request the site you are visiting to have faster connection.

A browser is only displaying the page but there is a lot you can do to make the page load faster.


I like the load speeds for the browser itself in Chrome. I use a widget to keep track of the weather on the gulf coast (why? Just idle curiosity, of course.) When I need to see a bigger picture, it opens up a browser window to the local NWS radar. IE7 or Firefox would take 5 or even 10 second to load and display. Chrome does it in under 2. Keeps me from having a browser open at all times. The few seconds of delay didn't bother much until I tried Chrome. Now it seems like forever.

I'll see if IE8 is any better.



BTW, upping my Vista64 macine from 2 gig to 3 gig gave me an extra 600 meg of free memory. So adding RAM is good, just remember to pay the MS tax when you upgrade.


LOL, sure, I see your points, and the answer to all of them is "yes"!

But, you're talking to a first-gen 8 bit programmer who wrote games in 2k of ROM and 96 bytes of RAM including stack, so it will never be possible to make things small & fast enough to satisfy me :)

I think you already know that I'm the kind of guy who loves to build radios from parts but doesn't listen to them, even while I tune the antenna for perfect reception. I also write long ranty screeds on the internet about efficiency.

And you probably know the answer already to "if IE isn't good enough for you Nick why don't you build your own?" ;-)

- Nick is "some kinda crazy"

John Roquemore:

Speaking of the coast, have you all seen this web site, it is pretty cool.



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