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IE 8: Can I have the lite version?

The same day that Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) to the Web, I downloaded and installed it on my three-year-old workhorse Thinkpad X60 on which I'm still running XP. It's been a rocky week-plus
mary-jo-foley
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

The same day that Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) to the Web, I downloaded and installed it on my three-year-old workhorse Thinkpad X60 on which I'm still running XP.

It's been a rocky week-plus. I haven't had as many of the compatibility issues as I was having before the final bits came out. I haven't been obsessed with discerning whether IE 8 opens my pages .02 seconds faster than Safari or Chrome or Firefox. And because I'm not a developer, I haven't been keeping tabs on how many CSS or ACID tests IE 8 passes.

But speaking of tabs... I have been having a heck of a time getting more than a couple IE 8 tabs to work the way I came to expect with IE 7. When trying to open an IM'd or e-mailed link, IE 8 kept whirring and whirring away, never managing to open the sites I was trying to view.

I've had a few folks try to help me figure out what's wrong. I've uninstalled and reinstalled IE 8; removed add-ons; downloaded the most recent versions of Flash and Silverlight and tried and tried again.

Thanks to my ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott, things are working quite a bit better today. (Read Bott's full post to see his DLL tip that helped my IE 8 performance. I am the mystery colleague he cites in his explainer.)

The bottom line is because of the way IE 8 isolates tabs, it uses more RAM. And all I've got on this machine is 1 GB. (I typically have a bunch of RAM-intensive apps open, and, if I could, would have eight to ten IE tabs open, too.) Bott makes a good case for the importance of tab isolation -- and I have been loving the fact that when one tab in IE 8 crashes, it doesn't (necessarily) take down my whole browser.

But my conclusion is: I need IE Lite!

What's been your IE 8 experience so far?

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