If you just can't wait to try IE8, proceed directly to the IE8 download page, where you can find versions for:
I'm glad you asked. New feature number one is "activities," which enables you to right-click selected content on a web page and bring up a list of actions to take, such as:
In many cases, you can choose alternative activity providers . For example, you can use eBay or StumbleUpon for Find, Yahoo! Local Maps for Map, and so on.
Previous versions of Internet Explorer have been notorious for ignoring W3C standards. However, by default, IE8 will work in a much more standards-compliant way than previous IE versions. Although Microsoft Watch's Joe Wilcox suspects that Microsoft's recent legal woes in Europe are as much to blame for Microsoft's decision as anything, it's a welcome sign for web designers tired of developing for both standards-based and IE browsers.
So, is it a no-brainer decision to give it a try? Not so fast. Read on.
Although lots of people are ready to give IE8 a try, it's a beta - beta 1, to be precise. So, what could go wrong? I'm glad you asked. The Release Notes for Beta 1 (aka KB949787 ) take eight pages to print using IE7's default Shrink to Fit setting. Clearly, the issues with this release aren't trivial. Some highlights (or lowlights, depending upon your point of view) include:
As is typical for an early beta (and you can't get any earlier than Beta 1), IE8 has a lot of rough edges. Unfortunately, because IE8, like previous versions of IE, works its way through most every nook and cranny of Windows, you can't install it alongside your current version of IE - it replaces your current version. Sure, when you uninstall IE8 Beta 1, you get your previous version back, but with the limitations of IE8 Beta 1, that might not be enough.
So, how can you take IE8 Beta 1 for a test drive safely? One word: virtualization . If you have a spare Windows XP license (such as a version of Windows XP Home or Professional you're not using anymore), you can download Virtual PC 2007 free from Microsoft, install Windows XP as a virtual machine, and install IE8 Beta 1 into the virtualized operating system. You could also install a trial version of Windows Vista Enterprise (already available as a virtualized download ready to run under Virtual PC 2007) and install IE8 Beta 1 to it. If the virtual machine crashes or hiccups, no problem!