IE8's "best" feature broken: stick with Firefox

IE8's "best" feature broken: stick with Firefox

Summary: 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.

TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft

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 ( due to an error message.

ie8-about-small.pngFunnily 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.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

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  • IE8 Beta

    IE8 is in Beta, it is not the finished product. There will be issues adn problems. I am currently using it as well, and the problems I do have, I have let Microsoft know. It is a work in progress.
    • As is Chrome...

      but that doesn't keep people from bashing it, and it
      was just released to beta yesterday. I'm with you
      though...beta software is bound to have problems.
      That's why they call it beta and not production.
      • There's a difference tho...

        With IE8, Microsoft will eventually release it as a finished product.

        Google is likely to drag the "beta" phase of Chrome out indefinitly.
        • forever a beta and never a final :-)

          And Chrome downloads silent updates (which is a
          good idea to update features and security) but leaves
          the old 44 MB version behind.

          Come on Google, clean up after yourself!

          I am using Google Chrome now typing this message :-)

  • That's why the call the phase "beta"

    Even though I'm no fan of IE and use FF almost exclusively (despite its own problems), I'm faintly bright enough to realize that beta releases DO need for fleshing out and fixing bugs. Shame some of the bloggers here on ZDNet don't seem to have a grasp on the concept.
    • Re: Beta

      Are you saying that because something is a Beta we
      shouldn't try it out and record our impressions? IMHO,
      anything announced for public download is fair game
      for review.
      Ed Burnette
      • Beta's and impressions..

        Impressions are ok - so long as you guys keep them in the proper context. Calling something "crap" because some feature(s) aren't working quite the way they should [b]YET[/b] and telling people to avoid it like the plague is a bit silly without keeping in mind that it's a BETA and it's NOT ready for prime time YET.

        Who knows... The particular problem(s) may be fixed with the next update/patch. That's what BETA is for.
        • It would have been fair and sensible

          if the author had
          a)more than simply 10 people (or 1o)reporting the problem


          b)had said 'stick with what you are using for now"

          It would like recommending everyone buy Nikon cameras because you had heard of a few people getting err99 on their Canons and not being able to reset it.
          Paul Fletcher
      • It's fair game for review...

        ...but not to compare to a finished product. When IE 8 is finished, then by all means, compare it to the current finished versions of other browsers.

        Most writers, when describing a bug in beta software, include something like "...but it is beta software and will likely work correctly in the finished product."
      • Beta and Reporting...

        Ed, I would expect that ZDNet review and report
        everything they find in I.E. 8 Beta. BUT fired up
        headlines stating implied future actions by a software
        package that is not yet finished is poor reporting,
        and quite frankly immature. I'd expect better out of
        ZDNet. What happened to just the facts, and no rhetoric or maybe even true thoughtful insight?
        • it is because of who they have writing for them

          .. no offence Zack, but you are a student and not even one in CS anymore
          Paul Fletcher
  • Several key features missing in beta2

    Spell checking, AdBlock Plus, FlashBlock, NoScript, SilverLight bundled-in.

    If they are there in gold, I'll switch back in no time.
    • Add On Features

      It would seem most of those features are FREE downloads you can get from the IE addon web site mentioned in the article. Takes all of 5 minutes to check the site and grab the ones you need/want.

      Silverlight can't be bundled with the program. Adobe would have a gran mal epileptic fit if they did that and we'd see another epic law suit.
  • RE: IE8's

    Google will use your confidential business information and your personal habits and your DNA code, but they'll only use them to target ads at you and it'll totally be kept within the marketing department. They're not evil! They said so!

    Of course, Microsoft are actually a convicted criminal corporation. But we can give them a chance to rehabilitate.
  • RE: IE8's ?

    Why would any of you think that this reflects on IE8? My first guess would be that the server that provides plugins is mis-configured rather than that the beta status or feature set included in IE8 was at fault.
    Still Lynn
  •'s a beta.

    It's a beta. Are you kidding me? Nobody claimed it to have the full features set yet. It's not even RC1 or RC2. Firefox is a full released product and you are comparing that to a beta product that is actually pretty good with a number of changes that customer's wanted?

    All you are seeing is the negative and missing all the positives. Are we simply desperate for anything to be blogged on that we resort to dissing on betas?
    • Nope, They are'nt kidding

      Beta or not to Beta is not now nor ever was the question...Its a chance to bash Microsoft and to prove that logic is not stapled to our DNA.

      I keep a IE version available at all times but normally use FF in its latest color...And I was rather happy with IE7 Pro...But I tried IE8 and for a time had a strange oval window covering my fav links...Not sure what it was but it may be gone now, I hope..

      You are right, IT'S Beta folks, just beta...And Microsoft like every other distributor of software has the right to make available a beta version to let folks like us shake it out for them... You want it to be good,and do all the good stuff, let a million people start trying it out and you get answers in a hurry...Just keep them in context and you will sleep better..
  • Zack, what the hell?

    You keep on striking out.
    • only with

      • Message has been deleted.

        Paul Fletcher