6.9.08

Internet Explorer 8 - in Beta 2 NOW! What do you like the most about it?

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Considering that most of MS's "hot" products were RTMed last year (and some this, like SQL 2008) the question was how would Microsoft fill this year's void... Well, here comes the IE8! Most certainly it will be the hottest product coming from Microsoft’s workshops and currently you can download Beta 2 version of IE2, which I earnestly recommend.

Knowing the history with Microsoft's web browsers, I was, at first, a bit skeptical, but now... Well, read on.

Installation on my Vista x64 was a breeze. Immediately after starting you're introduced to familiar interface like that of IE7, but just a little bit better. It's not so roundy and bulky as IE7, but rather sharp and all about business. It was nice to see numerous, almost invisible, UI improvements that make using this application so more enjoyable.

On the other hand, no one actually uses web browsers because they are "smooth", "nice" or "enjoyable", but because they work, they are fast, they don't complain...

There are numerous new features built in new IE about which you can read about around the web (like Arlindo's blog), and with which I will not bother you. I'll just mention that I like its speed (yes, it's actually faster), its assisted search capabilities, IE7 compatibility button and new built-in Developer Tools.

But the thing I like the most is IE8 crashing. Yes, you've read that right, I like how IE8 crashes!

Let's be reasonable... Web browsers crash, they'll still crash next year, and they'll crash in the future... The problem doesn't lie only with browser or it's implementation but also with web page programming. There are most probably several hundred potential reasons why browser crashed in any given session and it's virtually impossible to predict every one of them.

One of most horrific situations I encountered was IE7 crashing while having 8 or more different web pages open in IE7 tabs. You can imagine how painful it was to recover most of those to resume what I was searching for before.

So Microsoft built a "crash recovery" feature in IE8 (available in Beta 2). Now when a crash occurs IE8 won't close the browser but rather restart just the tab in which crash occurred. Even better, IE8 will leave the restarted tab in the position where it was when the crash occurred. Fantastic, is all I can say! Not worthy

 

How does that actually work? Instead of one process IE8 starts new "iexplore.exe" process for every tab you open and one extra for IE8 window. So if you have 2 tabs open, you'll have 3 iexplore.exe processes running. Even if your computer crashes during web browsing, next time you start IE8, it will know which pages you had open and offer to reopen them. Marvelous!

One thing is certain: I'm never going back to IE7!

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