Microsoft presented the first public beta version of their new Internet Browser at the Mix’08 of Las Vegas: Internet Explorer 8.
Here at NSDesign we already started to give it a look and discovered many new interesting features. Apart from a few problems when opening up many tabs together, the browser seems to work pretty well, and the navigation interface, even with the addition of new functionalities, is simple to understand and doesn’t create so much confusion about how to use it.
Two functionalities that we found quite interesting are the crash recovery and the highlighting of the visited URL (to provide more security especially in the case of complex domain names that can trick the user).
These are not only the only new features, there are even more new features that developers can discover, in fact Microsoft, quite late (but never to late for something important like this), decided to pay more attention to the web standards making Explorer strictly standard compliant and other interesting features for developers.
Due to the fact that IE is the most used browser, this is a great news, in the future we are going to see more and more websites developed properly, providing completely accessible information contents. But not all good news come by their own, from another point of view a stricter browser can create some inconveniences to those people who own an old websites or those who have a website structured with not standard code, breaking their websites on the new browser. Explorer 8 offers versioning (backwards compatibility to make a website work like on older browsers versions, like Explorer 7, Explorer 6 and Explorer 5), it is an interesting functionality for a short term solution, but it doesn’t have to be considered a definitive solution to compatibility problems. The best way is always to use the correct standard codes, keeping separated content, structure and style.
Definitely the new Microsoft browser is optimum and can compete with other major ones like the new Firefox 3.