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Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 review

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Manufacturer: Microsoft

User Rating: Our users rate this 2 out of 10

Those who expect Internet Explorer 8.0 to be a warmed-over version of IE7, or a me-too response to Firefox 3.0, will be surprised by the just-released Beta 2 of IE8.

Those who expect Internet Explorer 8.0 to be a warmed-over version of IE7, or a me-too response to Firefox 3.0, will be surprised by the just-released Beta 2 of IE8. Update, January 27 2009: Internet Explorer 8.0 review.

Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 offers a well-thought-out set of features that makes web browsing faster and more intuitive, including more intelligent tabs, a much improved Address Bar, and new tools designed to deliver information from other web pages and services.

Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 has other new features as well, including those that improve privacy and security, and what some people have called "porn mode." The beta is still rough in some places, but for anyone interested in seeing the next big browser release, it's stable, useful and well worth the download.

See also: Microsoft slaps Google with IE8: the 'porn browser'

NEXT PAGE: better tabs, improved navigation

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Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 Expert Verdict »
Computer with a 233MHz processor or higher (Pentium processor recommended)
Windows XP/Vista/Server 2003/Server 2008
512MB RAM
Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor with 256 colours
modem or internet connection
Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse, or compatible pointing device

Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 is much improved over the first developer's beta of IE8 and includes many new features, such as improved tab handling and better search. Consumers who want to see a preview of the future of IE and enterprises that need to plan for the next version of the browser would do well to download it. Keep in mind that IE8 is beta, and therefore may be buggy. In addition, if you install it, it will replace IE7 rather than run alongside it, so you won't be able to run IE7 and IE8, although IE8's compatibility mode does a good job of working with sites built for IE7. At this point, it's too early to compare Internet Explorer 8.0 to Firefox 3.0, because there still may be design changes. But when it does ship, it'll certainly be a worthy competitor. Its tab handling is superior in some ways, and the Accelerators and WebSlices are worthy additions. When the final product arrives, it will be easier to do a real head-to-head comparison.

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