It actually looks like the next release could be worthy of regular use when stacked up aggainst FireFox 3 and Google’s Chrome. Some of the new features Microsfot have on offer look fairly exciting, but the clincher that remains to be seen will be speed. MS IE 7 is notoriously slow and clunky for tabbed browsing and is last on my last when it comes to every-day browsing, but with the new features coming in v8, who knows? …still, i think i’ll hold off on installing the Beta until futher down the production cycle…
Some of the new features (from microsoft.com) include:
Now you can get more tasks done, more quickly on the web. Accelerators provide instant access to information like maps, web searches, translation, email, blogging, and more. Simply highlight a word or phrase on a page and discover a faster way to get the information you need.
Search is one of the most frequent and important things you do online. The new Internet Explorer 8 Search Box takes results to a whole new level by adding graphics and images to enrich your search.
Web Slices put you in control of the information you care about most. Now you can subscribe to specific content within a page and monitor things like auction items, sports scores, entertainment columns, weather reports, and more. Add a Web Slice to your Favorites bar and the information you care about will automatically be delivered to you.
New Tab Features
Tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer 8 just keeps getting better. The New Tab page loads quickly and lets you engage with a host of new features, such as opening previously closed tabs, or beginning an InPrivate session.
Tab Grouping makes it easier to stay organized while browsing multiple webpages. Tabs that are related now have the same visual representation and you can save time by closing a set of related tabs as a group instead of one at a time. You also can right-click on a tab to close tab groups, ungroup a single tab, or clone a tab.
When searching for information online it’s critical that you get the best results possible. With Internet Explorer 8, search also includes results from your local history and suggestions from your favorite search provider.
Find on Page
Searching for a keyword or phrase on a webpage is easier than ever. The Internet Explorer 8 Find on Page search feature highlights each instance of the keyword or phrase you’re looking for quick and easy discovery on a text-heavy page.
Automatic Crash Recovery
Website crashes are now isolated to individual tabs rather than entire browser windows, meaning when a site crashes on one tab, you don’t lose the rest. Internet Explorer 8 will automatically recover the lost tab once it has identified the problem. You can surf with peace of mind knowing that Internet Explorer 8 is the most reliable version of Internet Explorer available.
Check out all the new features and download the beta here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/Internet-explorer/beta/default.aspx