I have been following the development of the next version of IE closely but I have not had the chance to consistently run the beta releases. The IE 8 betas impaired my antivirus ability to connect to the internet and playing with the latest code from Microsoft can’t be more important than the security of the OS. Alas, RC1 seems to be working all right – I managed to check for updates (though there were none at the time).
Of interest is the fact that I have upgraded by anti virus; the previous version had me wondering: in an age of multiple browsers, why create a dependency on a particular version of IE?
So, what’s new with IE8 RC1? I have not had much time to explore this particular release but my first impressions are pleasant – it does feel polished, start up is noticeably fast though not Google Chrome fast. Here is a list of what to expect in IE 8.
Of interest is the web slices feature – takes the potential of AJAX to a new level though admittedly limited to IE 8 only at this time. While the Web Slices web site claims that there has not been any none-manual method of checking for rapidly changing information like email, stock quotes etc, AJAX has been used in many instances to check for new emails without any user intervention. Users of Gmail would typically take this for granted while users of the new version of Yahoo Mail would be aware of automatic check for new emails.
Integrating this automation into the browser makes for an interesting implementation though the most obvious reason would be to form some particular dependency on IE8 and later versions – I am not entirely sure how portable or open web slices is. Web slices builds on the ideas surrounding RSS feeds and an attempt to remove the need to publish a separate XML file for updates though web slices does introduce a format of its own.