The all new Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is available for download and is compatible with 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. Along with the English language support, the new version is also available in Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), and German. Additional languages will be available soon.
Here is how users will benefit from Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2:
According to MSN Blog, “We looked very hard at how people really browse the web. We looked at a lot of data about how people browse and tried a lot of different designs in front of many kinds of people, not just technologists. As tempting as it is to list here all the changes both big and small in IE8, we’ll take a more holistic approach. That’s how we built the product and how we’d like to talk about it.
From our customer research, we saw that the bulk of user activity outside of web pages involved tabs and “navigation” – the act of getting to the site the user wants to get to. We also knew that adding features has an impact only if they’re “in the flow” of how people actually use the product. Another menu item might matter in a checklist on a blog somewhere, but won’t matter to real people browsing. That’s why IE8’s New Tab experience is so remarkable: it’s obvious – after you see it.”
The tradition of tabbed browsing in IE, that started off with IE 7, has been highly refined in the new IE 8 Beta 2, as it takes into account that there are often relationships between new tabs that users open, and the browser can make it a lot easier to figure out which tabs go with which. One of the most interesting features of the new tabbed browsing is that IE 8 Beta 2 groups topic specific tabs together and color them differently, so as to enhance user efficiency.
As per Microsoft, “Searching for information is the most common task on the web. You’ll now see results show up instantly as you start typing in the built in search box. The results will become more accurate as you keep typing each letter. This function will be supported by a large variety of search providers including Windows Live, Yahoo! and Google.”
“Now you can type a search term and see real-time search suggestions from your chosen search provider, recommending common searches related to the text that is typed. Click on a suggestion at any time to immediately execute the search, saving you time and increasing the relevance of the search.”
“Microsoft is partnering with top search providers like Microsoft Live Search, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Amazon, and more to deliver direct results and “visual search” images that provide you with immediate answers. For example, typing “Seattle weather” with Live Search will instantly show you a preview of the current weather directly in the Search Box drop-down.”
Better Safety & Privacy:
“Do you want to be better protected from phishing and malicious software downloads? Need to browse with more privacy for that special gift online? Concerned about identity theft and your privacy? The latest version of Windows Internet Explorer has been designed to address these potential threats and more.”
“Internet Explorer 8 includes many performance improvements that contribute to a faster, more responsive Web browsing experience in the areas that matter most, including when starting the browser, opening a new tab, or loading a page.”