Microsoft releases first beta of Internet Explorer 8
Microsoft released the first beta version of IE8 a few days ago. The new version of the IE comes with many new improvements. Two major features are Activities and WebSlices. Look down for a bit more about these features.
Microsoft could have comfortably leave IE8 as an IE7 look alike that it standards compliant, but they went a step forward and actually brought something new to the browser industry, which will surely be mimicked in a near future in the form of an extension for everyone’s favorite fiery browser.
To start things off, one of the things that instantly drew my attention was the “Activities” feature that allows you to do those repetitive tasks like finding the location of something on google maps, or submitting an article to Digg, by simply selection an option from the context-menu when you right click.
Another nice feature is the Webslices feature, that allows a user to “capture” a part of a website’s code and place it as a link on your toolbar. Very similar to the new widget feature that Apple added in Leopard that allowed you to select an area from a website and create a custom widget for it. The only difference here is that in order for Webslices to work, the webdevelopers need to place a special code on their website, which renders the feature almost obsolete except for the select few websites (like Microsoft ones) that place the custom code.
Most other features are small improvements over the current ones, which makes IE8 a simple, yet capable, browser that earned my respect. Kudos to Microsoft!
[Download Internet Explorer 8]