The IE team recently announced the availability of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, the latest iteration of the upcoming browser which is now available for download from www.microsoft.com/ie8. This new version of IE features several new improvements and changes, but we decided to list our favorites below.
Smart Address Bar: Taking a note from Firefox 3’s Awesome Bar, the Smart Address Bar offers suggestions as you type based on website history, favorites, and RSS feed. There’s even an autocomplete feature that will suggest sites based on what you’re typing. Domain highlighting is also used to highlight the domain name. This feature allows for improved security and is especially useful in thwarting phishing attacks.
Colored Tab Groups: When you Ctrl+Click a link to open up a new tab, the new tab will have the same color as the original tab. New tabs that you launch on your own will be in a different color. This feature helps you easily visualize how tabs are related to each other.
Enhanced Find On Page Search: Ctrl+F launches a Find-on-Page Toolbar at the top of the page underneath the tabs. Search terms on the page are highlighted and the number of times they appear are counted.
Switching Search Providers Easier: Now when you enter in a search term in the search box, you’ll notice a row of icons that appear below the search suggestions that appear. These icons allow you to change your search provider on the fly from Live Search to Google to Wikipedia to Amazon, eBay, and more…all with the click of a button.
Visual Search: In addition to being able to change providers quickly, sites that support visual search (currently Amazon and Wikipedia) will display a small thumbnail image of the results which you can view without having to visit that page. What a timesaver!
Crash Recovery/Session Saving: You now have the option to reopen the last tab group when closing the browser. Also, if a tab crashes, crash recovery will restore the tab as well as any info you had filled in there such as in the case of writing an email or filing out a form.
InPrivate Browsing: This new technology lets you browse privately, making sure that history, temporary internet files, and cookies are not recorded on the PC
Other new features include an updated look for the IE chrome, improvements to both web slices and accelerators (formerly called “activities”), tools for IT professionals and developers, and a lot more. You can check out the full list of enhancements here as well as read reviews from both Ed Bott and Brandon LeBlanc, who both take a comprehensive look at the new browser.