While most of the reviews of IE 8 Beta 2, which Microsoft made available to testers this week, are focusing on the more consumer-focused features of Microsoft's forthcoming browser, Microsoft also is touting IE 8 as a solid platform for business users.
In fact, in the IE 8 Beta 2 Reviewers' Guide, Microsoft provides a list of what it considers the most alluring features for business users of IE 8, the final version of which is expected this November.
Pulled from the guide, here is the list of what the Softies are touting as IE 8 improvements for enterprise customers. Note: The "*" designates a new or enhanced feature, as of Beta 2.
Standalone installation: Provides several ways to deploy Internet Explorer 8 plus customizations, or just the customizations. Slipstream installation*: Enables the deployment of Internet Explorer 8 as part of an operating system image.
Managing user settings post-deployment: System administrators can easily update security settings, apply custom branding, and change other user and browser settings.
Group Policy enhancements*: New Group Policy settings ease deployment, configuration and customization.
Administrator Kit enhancements*: Enables system administrators to more easily configure desktop deployment settings for Internet Explorer.
Application compatibility tools*: An enhanced Application Compatibility Toolkit and granular Group Policy settings help IT professionals detect and resolve potential compatibility issues.
More granular management of ActiveX Controls: Provides increased control over how ActiveX Controls are installed and when they can be accessed.
Richer enterprise Web applications: Companies can take advantage of new features such as Accelerators and Web Slices to make users more productive.
Extended support life cycle: Internet Explorer 8 is supported for the life of the operating systems on which it runs, including dedicated enterprise-level updates and security response. Enterprise-class support: Internet Explorer 8 is supported by the Microsoft Support organization as part of the Windows operating system, enabling most enterprise customers to take advantage of existing support contracts.
Scheduled software updates: Software updates for Internet Explorer 8 are released on a predictable schedule so that IT professionals can plan accordingly.
Business users: Do any of these IE 8 features catch your fancy? As IE 8 is pretty much done at this point, any other enterprise-specific features you'd like to see make it into IE 9?