The plug-ins, the add-ons, the "download and use with" programs. So many people have been on about the "porn mode" InPrivate feature, the coloured tabs and the accelerator features, but what seems to be missing from the blogosphere is the entire gallery of additional software for the product.
There are so many additional plug-ins ranging from security to research, additional information, time-savers and productivity from the Internet Explorer Gallery, which is open to everyone using the new browser and the previous Internet Explorer 7... however it doesn't seem to work.
Internet Explorer 8 has impressed me to some extent. It looks better, it's easier to use, it has more safety and security features in, and it's much quicker than IE7 ever was. Eileen Brown, evangelist and all-round super star over at Microsoft UK, told me that the browser could be its own "Google killer", as the new privacy mode which hides your history could be catastrophic for Google, as that's what generates their targeted advertisements.
At the moment, there are over 50 pages full of different types of software, enabling the IE user to do what Firefox users have been able to do for a long time - customise their browser and make it more efficient to their working style. Whilst many will say they're stealing ideas from the competition, this is/was one of those ideas which couldn't have been criticised much. By allowing the user to customise how they work and use their browser of choice, allows possibilities to be endless.
I've asked people using Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 ranging from Atlanta, New York, Dublin, London (80 miles down the road from me), St. Petersburg, Cape Town, New Zealand, Canberra, Malaysia and even Seattle; the latter even more ironic because they're on the Microsoft Campus connected to the Microsoft corporate network. These 1o people all using the latest English running version of Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 (with the exception of Dublin because they're a native German speaker) cannot download anything from the Internet Explorer Gallery (ieaddons.com) due to an error message.
Funnily enough, the "error" message says they need to download, no less than Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 - which they evidentially have. I've uploaded my own screenshot here with the About box there proving it for all you "non-believers" out there. I don't doubt that it does work, I'm sure for many it does, but 10 different people from all over the world, with essentially the same browser, doesn't seem to work with the website. Why?!
This is why I, and many students, prefer Firefox. It does everything that IE8 does and will do, and where it doesn't, it has a mammoth add-in website to make sure it then does. Please someone from Microsoft, get in touch and give me something good to go on. University students go back in less than a week in some places, and by the end of the month in cases like mine.