Internet Explorer 8: features & benchmarks

Internet Explorer 8: features & benchmarks

Summary: With Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft is looking to stem the loss of market share to rivals like Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera. The browser has had a serious revamp, but has Microsoft done enough?

TOPICS: Apps, Reviews, Software

A broad-brush look at the recent history of the web browser goes like this: after its victory over Netscape at the end of the 1990s, Microsoft failed to push forward with the development of Internet Explorer (IE). Mozilla successfully plugged that innovation gap, and the market share of the open-source browser has been growing steadily over recent years.

However, the competitive threat to Microsoft has now expanded, with Google and Apple entering the picture. Chrome and Safari are both quick and compete with each other to be the fastest browser at JavaScript processing. On top of all that, Microsoft is facing another innovative browser in the form of Opera, which could increase its market share from its present low base.

Despite appearances to the contrary, Microsoft has been busily engaged in browser development and Internet Explorer 8 has finally been completed. For these tests, we used a version that Microsoft says is only marginally different from the RTM build. The final version of Internet Explorer 8 is now available for download for Windows XP, Vista and their server counterparts.


Topics: Apps, Reviews, Software

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  • IE8 Address Bar 'Nag' - another MS 'tie-in', another law-suit.

    IE8 Address bar, the features mentioned regarding web site history are only fully implemented if MS Windows Search has been installed. The 'basic' address bar has a constant 'Nag' in bold blue (which changes to bold blue underlined (as a link) when your mouse hovers over it.
    This nag appears every time you type in the address bar and is very distracting, unless of course - you take the advice of MS and install Search V4.

    That is the problem with IE8, compared to firefox. Its like been in a room with pushy MS Salesmen hovering over you and its a big turn-off. Be it the install process or using the product - one slip and you have defaulted to another MS Product, be it Live Search, Search V4, Live Blog, Office LIve. The sheer desperation of MS Bid to win against Google is very apparent, but then Chrome 2.0 is probably the same but with Googe Salesmen, looking slightly more hip, but recording everything you say,do, eat - toilet breaks etc, and comparing your tastes against the curtains you have chosen from the newly acquired front view of your house - street view.
  • MS no longer have 'tie-ins' with Windows, the new 'tie-in' in town is IE8

    Its clever really, and pretty simple, and why another lawsuit looks likely.
    * Netscape come up with a new type of program, a browser. MS ties Internet Explorer (for free) into Windows 95 (Windows Desktop Update), IE becomes part of the standard interface as part of Windows 98. Netscape disappears into a cloud of dust.
    Realplayer has a pretty good media player. MS ties Windows Media Player (for free) into Windows. Realplayer (pretty much) disappears into a cloud of dust.
    Europe Union force MS to release a Version of XP known as Version N, without the Windows Media 'tie-in'. No one buys it.
    With the EU watching them closely - No longer able to 'tie-in' programs into Windows, instead MS seem to use the step in stone put in place several years before (see * above) and now a rock solid part of Windows - Internet Explorer, 80% of users use this on their Windows Systems. 100% have it installed.
    Google release Desktop Search - MS unable to compete on search- MS ties MS Search V4 into IE8. This next bit is now in progress...
    (Thats why the 'nag' I mentioned above is so important)
    Its whether having Internet Explorer now a ubiquitous part of Windows, means that any tie-ins into IE8 are in effect tie-ins into Windows, and therefore this sorry mess continues.