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The Release Candidate of IE 8 has been released and, naturally, I have it downloaded and installed. Not had the chance to play with it much though, although I’m curious to see if it still breaks the menu on the BMTG website 1. If it does, I’ll be reporting it to Microsoft (which I should have done earlier, if only there’d been a clear way of doing this – I’ve only come across the link more recently).

What I do know is that, as an “average” Joe, I’m not impressed. Microsoft have said

We have made IE 8 the best browser for the way people really do use the web

Really? It looks pretty much like IE7. There’s a lot of tinkering “under the hood” but as an average customer, what does that mean to me? WebSlices and Accelerators? I think not and I’ll bet money now that most people won’t use these facilities. In fact, I’ll quietly bet now that Microsoft end up retiring these features in later versions.

It is apparently quicker. But, looking at the last beta release, it would appear that it’s still not caught Firefox or Chrome. Quicker but not quickest.

It is apparently more secure – it has a privacy feature that already exists in Chrome and is likely to be in the next version of Firefox.

I’ve only downloaded IE8 for the purpose of website testing. Can anybody give me a single good reason why I should move back to IE from Firefox? Can anybody give me a good reason why IE users won’t continue to move to alternative browsers? I suspect not. As Microsoft so often does, it throws features at a product that people don’t really want. If IE8 was secure, extremely fast and had the kind of plugins that Firefox uses then THAT would be a good product.

It’s a shame, because they seem to have done such a good job with Windows 7.

Update: The BMTG site DOES work with the new version of IE8. Hurrah. That’s another bug fixed. However, I still took the opportunity to install their plugin for reporting broken web pages. Ironically it’s not working right now – their server is too busy. So much for this being past beta stage.

Update #2: Test of new IE here. Conclusions – slow, renders badly and still has problems. Don’t agree with a lot of their “positives” though.

  1. don’t try it… I have the Meta tag in place at the moment that runs it in IE7 compatibility mode[]