IE8 (Internet Explorer 8) is Microsoft’s newest web browser. Its new features can help you surf the web more easily and efficiently. While IE8 remains the most popular web browser, it has two major competitors: Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and Google Chrome. Firefox has fewer features than IE8, but has a more-intuitive user interface. Chrome has even fewer features, but has the fastest response time.
As summarized below, new IE8 features include:
- Accelerators that let you access information quickly.
- Web Slices that let you monitor changing information on multiple websites.
- InPrivate Browsing that lets you surf the web without leaving traces on your computer.
- Compatibility View that lets you view older websites in IE7 mode.
For more IE8 information, see PCMAG.COM IE8 Review.
An IE8 Accelerator lets you quickly search for information (or share it) without leaving your current web site. For example, if you are reading a news item, and you see a word or phrase about which you want more information, you can use this new IE8 Accelerators feature as follows:
- Select (highlight) the text about which you want more information. This displays a blue Accelerator icon as shown below.
- Click on the blue Accelerator icon to display a listing of Accelerators as shown below.
Note: To see more Accelerators, click on “All Accelerators.”
- Click on “Search with Google” to search on the text you had selected, and display its associated links in a new tab. The color of the new tab matches that of the tab from which you selected the text.
A Web Slice helps you track changing information (such as a product price or an investment share price). You can use this new IE8 Web Slices feature to subscribe to, and then monitor, multiple Web Slices.
Subscribing to an IE8 Web Slice – To subscribe to an IE8 Web Slice, do the following:
- Go to the website that contains the information you wish to track.
- Go to the website page that contains the information, and move your mouse pointer over it. If the website author assigned a Web Slice to that information, it displays a green icon as shown below.
- Click on the green Web Slice icon to display an Add a Web Slice dialog.
- Click on the “Add to Favorites Bar” button to add a Web-Slice link at the left end of your Favorites bar, which is near the top of your IE8 window.
Monitoring an IE8 Web Slice – To monitor an IE8 Web Slice, go to your Favorites bar, and then click on the Web-Slice link to display a summary of its newest information. To view full information, you can click on either the “See it!” button or the blue arrow.
Note: If a Web Slice’s information has changed since you last monitored it, that Web-Slice link starts flashing (switching between normal and highlighted text).
InPrivate Browsing is a new IE8 feature that lets you surf the web without permanently recording which websites you visit. InPrivate Browsing hides your web activity from anyone with whom you share your computer. For example, you can shop online for a gift for your spouse without leaving evidence that you have been visiting expensive-gift websites.
While you visit a website through InPrivate Browsing, IE8 temporarily stores some information, such as cookies and temporary files needed by that site during your visit. However, as soon as you exit InPrivate Browsing by closing your IE8 window, IE8 erases all cookies and all temporary files.
The IE8 Compatibility View is a new IE8 feature that alerts users to websites that are not yet ‘IE8 ready,’ which usually only means that they display slightly better in IE7 mode. To alert a user to an older website, IE8 displays an Address-bar icon that resembles a broken page, as shown below.
If you see this icon, simply click on it to view the website in IE7 mode. For more information:
- Go to Internet Explorer 8 Features.
- Click on “Compatibility View.”
If you are a website author who wishes to make an existing website always display in IE7 mode on IE8 browsers, add the below meta-tag line immediately after the tag on each page (or in each of your template headers), as follows:
If you are a website author who wishes to create a new website that is fully compatible with IE8, you need to incorporate all IE8 standards. For more information, see Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit.