Internet Explorer 8 has taken on its closest rival Firefox 3 head on with its nifty features. It has better tab handling, a smarter search bar and address bar and many new tools. It has also obtained a nifty feature for anonymous surfing (often called porn mode) and security tools. However, I can almost sense cynicism from those who abandoned IE for Firefox, Opera or Chrome.
Yes the older IE was bad and it inundated your computer with spyware and pop-ups. I can remember the browser hijacks that happened! But the new IE8 is much better.
The tabs are a huge improvement for people accustomed to the alternate browsers like Firefox and Opera. IE handles the tabs well, the new one opening right next to the one you are working on, and in the same color. The color coding saves a lot of time if you require referencing. You can also move a tab by simply dragging it.
You can re-open tabs by pressing Ctrl-Shift-T and see the recently closed tabs by right clicking any tab and pick the one you want reopened. Moreover if a tab crashes it does not affect the others.
Like Chrome and Firefox, it has an integrated search box that searches the Web, RSS feeds, Favorites and your browsing history.
This internet browser has Accelerators and Web Slices. Accelerators display feeds from other websites as a pop-up on your page or in another tab. All you need to do is highlight that link.
Finally makers of this internet browser have heard the cries of people who were suffering. Microsoft has installed something it calls SmartScreen Filter that has anti phishing capabilities and issues malware warnings. It blocks cross scripting attacks and protects against malicious ActiveX. Microsoft has claimed that it offers protection against clickjacking. Clickjacking is when hackers put an invisible code under a legitimate one. Once you click it, spyware gets installed.
Of course what has got people talking is the InPrivate browsing or the porn mode. When you browse the net in this mode, no browsing history, cookies or passwords are stored by the browser.
You can select the cookies you want deleted. This is innovative and convenient. You have an option where you can select to reserve the favorite websites data, so that when you delete your browsing history, certain data is preserved.
It actually previews the website. When IE8 gives you the initial results of your search, if the provider has any special graphics added, it shows up as a thumbnail which makes the search easy.
As far as internet browsers go, IE8 is smoother and faster than IE7. However, it is just at par with Firefox. For simple browsing IE8 is a great option, it has better tab systems and a great search box and niftier features that Firefox does not have, the accelerator, malware protection and of course the porn mode.
However, what it does not have is the add-ons that Firefox users are accredited to. However for basic browsing, this internet browser is far better.