Part I: Better Everyday Browsing


Hi, my name is Paul Cutsinger and I’m the Lead Program Manager for the IE8 User Experience.

As Dean mentioned in his beta 2 announcement post, for IE8 we focused on improving people’s everyday browsing experience – what they do all the time. We looked closely at what people do and how they do it to design ways to make their browsing even better. For all of the top usage patterns, we looked for ways to reduce steps, introduce new capabilities, and improve on how people actually browse. 

In this post, I’ll discuss a small sampling of IE8’s new features that make everyday browsing faster and easier. Future posts will cover each of these, and other, features in more depth.

Smart Address Bar

Based on our observations of IE7 and IE8 Beta 1 usage, we learned that roughly 80% of the time people’s destination on the web is a previously visited site. In the past, people would use their Favorites or History, or they’d just go through all the steps to navigate to the website again.

The Smart Address Bar enables you to find Favorites and sites in your history by just typing a few letters. That’s much fewer steps than using the Favorites and History center. We also added the capability to search the title, web address and even folders for those who have organized their favorites. This means that you’ll find sites even if type something other than just the first part of the web address. To make it easier to find what you’re looking for, we group the results and highlight the matched text.

IE8 Smart Address Bar

Favorites Bar

One click access is ideal for the sites and information you want frequently and you can use the Favorites Bar to do this. You can now add favorites, feeds, Web Slices and folders to the Favorites Bar for one click access. It’s also one click to add a favorite to the Favorites Bar.

Many people make a habit of checking back on certain sites like email, auctions, news and blogs many times a day. Well, it’s great that these can be just one click from the Favorites Bar but, it’s really only interesting to see these pages when they’ve changed. So, feeds and Web Slices will turn bold, like an unread email, when there’s something new to see. Now you’ll know that there will be something interesting even before you click.

IE8 Add to Favorites Bar Button

New Tab Page

When people open a new tab, they’re about to go to a website. So, we looked for ways to make that as fast and easy as possible. They could use the address bar or the Favorites Bar. They could also use the Search Box with its Visual Search suggestions new to Beta 2. Those are all great ways to go to a website. While studying usage patterns, we found a few other opportunities to refine the experience even more. Now, from the new tab page, you can immediately start common navigation tasks like reopening a closed tab or starting an InPrivate Browsing session.

All of these come together to help you get to the websites you want with the fewest possible steps and without needing to hunt through the menus to figure out how.

IE8 New Tab Page

Tab Grouping

We’re seeing an emerging tab trend where people open several pages so they can read them later. For example, they might be reading a news article or blog and then they open some of the links in new tabs as they go so they can finish reading and easily come back when they’re done to read the related pages.

We love tab browsing, but it’s easy to get confused where all the tabs came from. IE8 opens keeps these pages grouped together and color codes them. As you close tabs in a group, IE takes you to the next one in the group; similarly, if you open more tabs from the first site, IE appends them to the group rather than adding them to the end of all the tabs. With this, it’s easy to read and use all the related pages together. We’ll be blogging in more detail about this feature (and others) over the next few days.

IE8 Tab Grouping

Find on Page

We’d heard from many, many users that the Find dialog in IE6 and IE7 was always getting in the way, making it hard to actually find content on the page. So, we’ve added a Find bar at the top of the page (finally!) that lets you more easily find content on the page.

This is an example of how we’ve simplified experiences to remove subtle but significant extra user effort.

IE8 Find On Page

Faster and Easier throughout the product

As you use the beta and read the deeper feature blog posts, you’ll see more examples of how we made browsing easier like how we highlight the domain in the address bar for quick visual scanning. You’ll also see how we made browsing even better with service connected features like Visual Search, Accelerators, and Web Slices in part 2 of this post.

I hope you’ll enjoy how much faster and easier browsing is with IE8. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the beta.

Paul Cutsinger
Lead Program Manager

Comments (102)

  1. Cameron says:

    It’s interesting that you created these features because of research. Most of the new features have been in Firefox for quite a while, and you make out that it was all your idea.

    I just wish Microsoft would innovate more and lead the market instead of coping every other browser!

    That said I’m glad your catching up as these are needed features.

  2. Eden says:

    @Cameron

    I agree that some of this features were available on Firefox. However, many of them already exsited for IE as a plug-in and there were a lot of browers based on IE brower controls with very rich features. You really don’t thing FF was innovative?

  3. GZ says:

    I don’t like having a bar for the favorites. I think one-click adding should also be possible withouth the favorites bar enabled and it should also be possible to use web slices in the sidebar and not just in the toolbar.

    What I don’t like about tabs in IE 8 is the fact that it still isn’t possible to let tabs automatically be opened in the background. It always switches to the new tab which is in most cases really annoying.

    Something I don’t understand is why there is a button to open the default mail program with one click (why should I do that? I have a taskbar with quicklaunch.) but for such a commen task like searching inside the page I have to go through a drop-down menu to enable it.

    and yeah again: Make autocomplete customizable (means: Let me choose if I want to see my history or only my favorites or whatever).

  4. Phylyp says:

    All in all, I like most of the features you’ve provided in the betas.

    A couple of comments:

    Tab grouping: allow us to customize tab colours, like Excel does.

    Tab grouping: The entire "tab" being coloured makes it hard to distinguish the active tab (its a bit of a subtle gradient difference) – can’t you do it like Excel does, again?

    Find: Can this be integrated with the search function on the top right?

    Smart address bar: nice, esp. the delete option

    Visual search: When I click on the search-provider icons at the bottom of the visual search dropdown, it loads the page in the currently active tab – I think it would be more intuitive to just show the visual search results from that provider in the dropdown itself.

  5. josh k says:

    @cameron

    I find it hard to make the assumption that since firefox released a feature first that no other company may have had the same type of feature in the works. Its like saying if a customer requested a feature, that the first to release it innovated and all others copied? Thats nonsense.

    @paulc

    The tab grouping is a nice feature but on the windows older theme (the windows 98/2k look) the coloring makes it hard to visually discern  which tab is active.

    Also, the matching within page titles doesn’t seem to be working. Does it only apply to the names of favorites? Will there be matching within the entire URL not just substring?

    Great work fellas in Redmond!

  6. GZ says:

    – display search results in a NEW tab not just in the active tab.

    – make it possible to drag-and-drop links to the tab-bar so I can open a link in a new tab without using the context menu.

  7. ron says:

    Maybe you should give credit where it belongs. The smart bar, the quick favorites, find on page, they all come from Firefox. I don’t think such openness is possible for you, sadly enough. I really like the better standards support though!

  8. Cameron says:

    @josh k

    Please explain what innovation is then if it’s not coming up new ideas.

    Dictionary definition:

    "The act of introducing something new."

    All I am saying is that Microsoft has had a monopoly on the browser market for a decade and still is playing catch up with other browser vendors. It is Microsoft that should have been innovating.

  9. Slawek says:

    @GZ

    You can click scroll-wheel on a mouse.

  10. Will Peavy says:

    In IE8b2 – if you click on a hyperlink located within a frame it will open the link both in the current tab, and in a new tab (even though no target attribute, or .js is associated with the link).

    For example, click the ‘Valencia’ logo/link in the upper left at: http://atlas-pprd.valenciacc.edu/

    Now, bypass the frame and click the same ‘Valencia’ logo/link: http://atlas-pprd.valenciacc.edu/default.cfm

  11. element says:

    i cant reply to newsgroup posts on the connect site with ie8.

  12. Eden says:

    @GZ

    If you want tabs to be opened in the background, go to Internet Options > General > Tab Settings.

    Shortcut for "Find on this page" is Ctrl+F just like (most of) other applications.

    @Phylyp

    I think integrating Find function into the search bar may confuse regular users as they alwasy do.

    @Phylyp, GZ

    If you wish to open in a new tab, alt+enter works. That also works for the address bar.

  13. Christer says:

    A bit funny that msdn doesn’t work very well with IE8. The content frame is all empty.

    All in all, most sites are ok except for several Microsoft sites and parts of OWA looks strange.

  14. Still waiting on VPC Images MSFT says:

    Still waiting on VPC Images MSFT

    "Also waiting for the VPC image. As noted, the "IE App Compat VHD" page is now down entirely."

    Please make this a priority with every release. They should be released in SYNC with the downloadable executable.

    The current image fails horribly to install IE8 Beta 2.  So far I’ve managed after several attempts to get as far as removing IE8 Beta 1.

    Installing Beta 2 gets as far as the downloading step, then just spins, and spins, and spins, and spins.

    on a side note, why is this post a complete regurgitation of the post from yesterday? same screenshots, same info? what gives?

  15. Eden says:

    Overall, I like it. Better and smoother than IE8B1. Here are my suggestions:

    – When a tab is grouped and if users open a new website (i.e. not through links on the page), the tab should be excluded from the group.

    – There should be a shortcut to go through the list of tabs (or trigger the Tab List), instead of actually switching the tabs.

    – Opening Find bar shifts the entire page making the experience very unnatural. Either move it to the bottom, provide some smooth transition, or don’t shift the page.

    – When IE crashes InPrivate Browsing, the tabs are not recovered. I think this is by-design… I’m not sure if that’s good for users.

  16. kol says:

    Windows Vista Parental Control and InPrivate Mode. Can parent set up parental Control in Vista to disable the inprivate mode from being use on standard user account.

  17. Thomas Tallyce says:

    I’m not a great fan of IE, but this really does feel like a very solid release. In particular, I’ve so far come across *zero* rendering problems. Well done Chris and others. I look forward to a posting about the CSS and other improvements.

  18. Josh K says:

    @Cameron

    Lets put it in a different scenario. We 100% know that every person that pays for gasoline is begging for an alternative. Now car manufacturers know this, and you cannot disagree that more than 1 manufacturer is creating a vehicle with a different fuel alternative – hydrogen lets hypothesize. So – the first manufacturer to RELEASE said car, is an innovator, and whomever releases theres after is simply a copy cat? How is that a valid argument?

    Back to IE, just because Firefox released a few features before IEs beta/release cycle has come around, doesnt mean IE saw Firefox features and was like "HEY WE NEED THOSE!!".

    Software takes months, if not years, to plan, organize, design, implement, test and finally release. I highly doubt that –"Most of the new features have been in Firefox for quite a while, and you make out that it was all your idea."– really applies here at all.

    Once again, good for IE boys, this is shaping up nicely. =)

  19. Tommy Wilde says:

    I’ve installed IE8B2 at home and at work. I’m using XP at work and after installation, whenever I type an address into the address bar in the task bar area, I get an error that the address cannot be found. Haven’t tried it at home on Vista yet.

  20. Kristen [MSFT] says:

    @ element: We’ll follow up with the MS Connect team to see if there are any issues with NGs

  21. kol says:

    What no download manager or changes to the download UI in IE 8 beta 2.

    no changes to IE status bar: suggestion would be to remove the separator line between those icon to kind of clean things up.

    no website icon in smart address bar

    no tags in smart address bar

    no keywords to launch favorite website so i still have to click the mouse.

    add recently closed tabs in tab list

  22. Ajay says:

    this is the best browser by microsoft ever

  23. Cameron says:

    @Josh K

    Based on your comments nobody innovates! What a load on nonsense.

    The fact is Microsoft copies popular features from diffrent browsers and then makes it out to be their own and as if they had the idea, just look at the wording in this blog post.

    Can you tell me why a company the size of Microsoft and with the resources that Microsft has, why is it that Microsoft is still playing catch up when it comes to browser standards support and features, baring in mind that Microsoft have had a monopoly in this arena?

    I have been developing web sites for over 10 years and IE has been a complete nightmare. They only now are starting to take Web Standards seriously, it should have happend a long time ago.

    Now I have to develop websites the render correctly in Firefox, Safari, Opera, IE6, IE7 and IE8.

  24. ©LarryEº says:

    I tried twice to install IE8Beta2 and had to uninstall it again.  It just does not work.  In groups.msn.com you can’t reply to a message.  Cannot right click on a page link and then on Open in new Tab, it opens a tab, and just says "Connecting" but never connects.  IE7 Pro’s mouse gestures only work on some pages, not on others.  No "Report a web page problem" in the right click context menu.  Lost the Command Bar and cannot get it back and in the View menu, it’s grayed out.  Cannot customize any of the toolbars.  Just too much wrong.  I hope they fix it soon.

  25. I’d like to take this opportunity to make a minor complaint: I’ve used the Links bar for years (renamed "Favorites Bar" in this new version of IE). I put the most commonly used links at the front of the bar, with less-frequently used ones off the overflow to the right.

    Every version upgrade of IE, including this one, resorts the order of the list alphabetically. Now I have to go in and do a lot of awkward drag and drop. It would be nice if the order were preserved.

  26. Sinder says:

    Man, the "jump to anchor" function wasn’t corrected for Beta 2? You guys really need to fix that before the final release; it makes reading Wikipedia a real pain. It works in Compatibility Mode, but that’s a workaround, not a fix.

  27. Dustin Boyd says:

    Eden wrote:

    """

    – When IE crashes InPrivate Browsing, the tabs are not recovered. I think this is by-design… I’m not sure if that’s good for users.

    """

    I’m guessing that is the point of InPrivate Browsing. It doesn’t save your history or anything while you browse, so it can’t keep a history of your tabs, right? This is like a browser crashing, and your entire session being saved except for your form fields due to security considerations. With InPrivate Browsing, you don’t need to worry about someone else getting on your workstation and discovering what sites you’ve browsed if you forget to lock your workstation. That’s one easy case to understand.

  28. Dustin Boyd says:

    Eden wrote:

    """

    – When IE crashes InPrivate Browsing, the tabs are not recovered. I think this is by-design… I’m not sure if that’s good for users.

    """

    I’m guessing that is the point of InPrivate Browsing. It doesn’t save your history or anything while you browse, so it can’t keep a history of your tabs, right? This is like a browser crashing, and your entire session being saved except for your form fields due to security considerations. With InPrivate Browsing, you don’t need to worry about someone else getting on your workstation and discovering what sites you’ve browsed if you forget to lock your workstation. That’s one easy case to understand.

    Overall, great work. IE8 is shaping up nicely!

  29. Arieta says:

    koi: press right click on the active tab for the "recently closed tabs" list.

    I think this should be put to a more easily accessible place, though.

  30. Michael says:

    Cameron, and others on about stealing FF’s ideas:  

    Theres plenty of stuff in here which is new.  Having read this blog since just before IE8b1, there’s been lots of people coming on and asking for stuff, especially stuff which is in FF.  So what does MS do?  Ignore the requests?  But then their customers will complain.  There’s been many, many examples in history of good ideas being adopted by competitors, and standardised – it’s called technological advancement.

    And the thing is, with everyone wanting the same features in each browser, and wanting each browser to support all the standards and more, it’s inevitable that browser will be very much alike, seperated only by a asthetics.

  31. Dave Sussman says:

    Please consider making about:blank watermark text instead of actual text. I’ve given up counting the number of times I launch IE, start typing in the address bar, and then about:blank pops into the text field. Very annoying.

  32. Shaun Bowe says:

    It would be great if they words I searched for in the search box appeared as clickable links on the find bar as they do in the Google Toolbar. So when I click a word on the find bar it automatically enters that word into the find box and starts the search.

  33. I spent 30 minutes yesterday searching for a way to submit bug reports for IE 8.  The only official site I could find (connect.microsoft.com/ie) was closed.

    The first thing I noticed when running IE 8, is that comboboxes in forms are not drawn correctly.  The down arrow has about a 1em space between it and the right edge of the combobox.  Of course, switching to "Compatibility mode" makes it display correctly.

    BTW, Compatibility Mode is the worst feature of the whole browser.  Every other browser on the market comes up with updates very frequently, and none of them have seen a need to have any type of ‘compatibility mode’ with previous versions.  Instead, they continue to improve their standards support.

    Secondly, IE 7 has not been out long enough for anyone to have built websites that only work in IE 7.  If you really need a compatibility mode, it’s for IE 6 (which I believe is still available in Quirks mode).

    I suppose we can forgive you because, at least, you’ve enabled Standards mode by default.

  34. gkeramidas says:

    from what i can see, the favorites bar duplicates the links toolbar on the taskbar. why would i want that? make them independent of each other. it’s not a favorites bar, it’s a links toolbar in internet explorer instead of the taskbar.

  35. I was just checking out the improvements the team has made in beta 2 of Internet Explorer 8. While I

  36. Dustin Boyd says:

    Sinder wrote –

    """

    Man, the "jump to anchor" function wasn’t corrected for Beta 2? You guys really need to fix that before the final release; it makes reading Wikipedia a real pain. It works in Compatibility Mode, but that’s a workaround, not a fix.

    """

    I agree that it needs to be fixed. FWIW, if you use <a href="document.getElementById(‘foo’).scrollIntoView()">Foo</a> in JavaScript, that also doesn’t work.

    At first I thought the empty element simply gets removed from the DOM in IE8 since there is no content, but I think the problem with scrollIntoView and the problem with anchors pointing to a document fragment may be related. After all, they behave essentially the same.

    Apparently, the HTML 4.01 Recommendation says that user agents should be able to find anchors created using empty anchor elements, but some aren’t able to do so:

    """

    Note. User agents should be able to find anchors created by empty A elements, but some fail to do so.

    """ [1]

    According to that, IE8 doesn’t necessarily NEED to fix this because it isn’t really a bug. It isn’t a requirement to conform to the HTML 4.01 Recommendation.

    As for Wikipedia, empty anchors shouldn’t be used anyway… At the very least, a non-breaking space would do because it counts as content.

    [1] – http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/links.html#h-12.2

  37. Harald Ums says:

    I have already decided against using suggested sites.

    But this ‘Turn on suggested sites…’ is still wasting space on my favorites menu.

    How get I rid of this stupid thing?

    The add to favorites menu command is gone. Instead there is another line wasted in the favorites menu for that command.

    Really really bad.

  38. JAB Creations says:

    I noticed and appreciated all these features. Another thing that you guys added that was pretty sweet was the provider icons when typing in the search box. Clicking on an icon did an instant search with THAT provider.

    Still where is the customizable GUI??? I thought this was supposed to be ready for Beta 2?

    http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/3019/ie8betterguier2.png

    Still good work with what has been done thus far. Looking forward to reading the rest of the blog posts and of course to Beta 3 eventually.

  39. Cameron says:

    @Michael

    I agree, all I am saying is that Microsoft should be innovating more and playing less catch up.

    I think IE8b2 is great by the way and love the new features just been waiting so looooong.

  40. Yeff says:

    A simple feature request I have is the ability to close a tab by double-clicking on it.  That’s easier (for me) then aiming for the close ‘X’.

    Thank you.

  41. prchohan says:

    How about search functionality from address bar as a new (but very simple to implement) feature? I know Firefox has it and I can do it with a plugin in IE7 but it will be great if you guys can make it native functionality so that "a Wii" takes you Amazon with search results for Wii and "w Paris" shows the Wikipedia article for Paris. It involves adding a shortcut character(s) under Search Provider options. Please?

  42. Kristen [MSFT] says:

    @ Harald Ums

    You can still add to Favorites by selecting the "star" icon and clicking on the "add to Favorites" button.

    @ JAB Creations

    Right click on the toolbar and note the options. Also, with the toolbars unlocked, you can drag them between levels ; Also hovering between the Address Bar and Search Box will allow you to resize – We’ll blog more about this in an upcoming post

  43. aemarques says:

    @ron – and tabbed browsing was on Opera first! However, I ear EVERYONE saying it was a FF first. Duh…

    @Yeff – Better yet: provide *both* possibilities!

  44. aemarques says:

    BTW, guys: how many languages (if any) can be expected before the final version ships? I’m portuguese… :-)

  45. ASPInsiders says:

    I was just checking out the improvements the team has made in beta 2 of Internet Explorer 8. While I

  46. Casey says:

    IE 8 Beta 2 crashes when access Outlook Web Access 2003.  Any fixes for this?  IE Beta 1 would work if I had the "Emulate IE 7" button activated.

    I’ve set IE 8 B2 to use compatibility mode for every site, but still no luck.  Anyone else having this issue?

  47. igoravl says:

    Smart Address Bar is really a great feature. However, it would be even better if Favorites were *recursively" searched. I extensively bookmark my sites, thus I have to use folders to better organize them. Given that Internet Explorer only lists bookmarks in the root Favorites folder, I need to manually browse to find a previouly bookmarked site in a sub-folder under Favorites.

  48. I think it is great that you have focused on end user features. End users didn’t care that IE7 had a better rendering engine, so they were slow to upgrade. By adding neat-o end user features, hopefully the uptake will be better with IE8, which brings us developers what we want — end users with standards compliant browsers. Win-Win.

  49. aldo says:

    I am very happy with IE8, and I think a lot more people will start using IE8 because they want too 😀

    I agree Steve, I didn’t really notice any new features in IE7 except tabs really. While the rendering engine was improved a lot, its just not what most regular people want, they want features, and IE8 has done it 😀

  50. Colin says:

    OK, so roughly 80% of addresses I type are sites that I’ve previously visited and you’re all about making the user experience better.  Then tell me why you have removed inline autocomplete and made the browsing experience WORSE!  Now instead of starting to type a previous site I’ve visited and then just pressing Enter when inline autocomplete has done it’s business I now have to start typing, wait for the "Smart" address bar to pop up, either click on the link with the mouse or use the arrow keys to go down and then press Enter.

    In what world is this an improvement?  The Smart address is a massive improvement I’ll give you that but you’ve made entering an address a worse user experience by adding in another key press in the process and one that involves completely moving my hands from the home keys.  Very poor.

    Additionally, can I turn off that stupid "make the main domain black and everything else barely visible" feature in the address bar.  I’m not stupid, I know what site I’m on (although I guess you’re having to work with lots of stupid people) maybe make it an advanced option that I can disable?

  51. ton says:

    These features are nice but what about security. Things like sandboxing active x controls and browser plug ins to minimize the attack surface for windows xp users? I know they’re are already similar features like this in Vista but what about the millions of zombie windows xp machines that need saving?

  52. Mike says:

    Well I can’t believe you have the gall to suggest some of these features have not been copied.

    However I must admit that the InPrivate Browsing is wanktastic!

  53. StuR says:

    I just hope IE 8 won’t have some of the single-threading that causes IE 7 to become completely unresponsive during several operations:

    downloading Active X controls

    downloading blog content

    During these operations (especially when there is network or server latency, you can’t do ANYTHING in IE 7).

  54. John says:

    The smart address bar is great and like the awesomebar in Firefox, I really like it. But it’s a little bit slow, sometimes I’m faster typing the address than it is displayed in the dropdown. Why don’t you use a database like SQL Server Comapct Edition to store favorites and history. I think it would be way faster to retreive the smart address bar content.

  55. bob e says:

    The icon for the favorites bar IMO should look a lot different than the regular favorites icon.  

    I made the mistake several times adding the same page to the favorites bar thinking I was adding to favorites. Then i ended up with a bunch of the same pages – how about a duplicate check for this,.

  56. Roman says:

    Does the new search search as you type? I, personally, find that very annoying.

  57. Sebastien Zimmermann [MSFT] says:

    @GZ

    You may hit Alt+Enter or Alt+Shift+Enter to open your search results in a new tab or a new background tab respectively. This will work from the search box, from the suggestion dropdown, or from the quickpick section at the bottom. Note that you may click instead of hitting Enter using the same modifier keys.

    @prchohan

    If you are more of a keyboard person, you can type "? wii" in the address bar to get search suggestions with your default search provider directly from the address bar. However, this won’t allow you to switch providers on the fly. Ctrl+E will focus the search box, where the QuickPick (at the bottom) allows you to quickly navigate between search providers with the arrow keys (you may hit up-arrow from the search box to go directly into the quickpick). However, there isn’t a functionality in IE to trigger a search on a specific provider using a keyboard shortcut from the address bar at this time.

  58. Chris says:

    Can you remove the restriction on the placement of the menu bar?  I like to have it at the top of the window, above the toolbar.

  59. Josh says:

    The coloured and grouped tab browsing is a great feature, however I would remove the red colour from the number you have.

    When I first began using IE8 and saw the red tabs, I kept looking on the pages for errors or something.

  60. Ivan says:

    I hate the GUI. Why don’t you use WPF like in Office UI, when is some properties for picture or table is available?

  61. Jadeja Dushyantsinh A says:

    I am quite impressed with the new features of IR 8 Beta 2. However I want to add my own accelerator in the accelerator list like how I add search providers. Is it possible? If yes than request your help with the same.

  62. Mitch 74 says:

    A small remark on the not-exactly-like-awesomebar: the autocomplete suggestion obviously repeats the first line of the History subsection: don’t repeat identical elements.

    I have my doubts about the way webpage title and URL are positioned (side by side): for owners of smaller screens, that will probably make them unreadable; ‘wasted space’ doesn’t make it as a justification, otherwise you’d have found a better way than big fat labels to indicate the source of the suggestion.

    For those who haven’t noticed, Firefox doesn’t need to separate matches from history and matches from bookmarks: that’s what the star tag is for (if there’s a tag, it’s bookmarked), but it does go through all those same sources to complete your query.

    That’s a bit of nitpicking – but overall IE8 is an improvement. You may want to make the UI more flexible though (‘regress’ back to IE6), as said in another comment the ‘mail’ button is pretty much useless nowadays.

  63. Scenario1: when you browse the web for some foreign food, you come across words you don’t know. You want

  64. Martin says:

    Feature-wise IE 8 is really great and adds a lot of useful stuff. But my first impression was: What an ugly blue-ish background used for the favorites and other command bars.

    That’s a step backwards. The color used in IE7 looks much better.

  65. Joel says:

    Installing IE 8 seems to have inexplicably slowed down the performance of Acrobat Professional 8 on my system (XP).

  66. pbnec says:

    "We’d heard from many, many users that the Find dialog in IE6 and IE7 was always getting in the way, making it hard to actually find content on the page. So, we’ve added a Find bar at the top of the page (finally!) that lets you more easily find content on the page.

    This is an example of how we’ve simplified experiences to remove subtle but significant extra user effort. "

    BUT I THINK THAT using the search box , which is located in the upper right region of the browser window, to find some words on a page is MUCH BETTER!!!

  67. Nelson says:

    @phnec "using the search box , which is located in the upper right region of the browser window, to find some words on a page is MUCH BETTER!!!"

    No, No, No, No, No!

    Totally different contexts.  I don’t want to have to think… oh, when I want to search the page, I should go to the spot where I search the ENTIRE INTERNET.

    Also, how would you be able to "tell" IE that you want to search JUST the page, not all of the DELL website, or eBay?

    This find feature has worked awesome in every other browser for YEARS now.  If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!

    (except of course IE’s find in IE6/IE7/IE8 Beta1…. which sucked)

  68. Denison says:

    My OS: Windows XP Home, Version 5.1.2600

    Previous Primary Browser:  IE 7

    How I Use: “Everyday Browsing” (to use the expression in the title of the post)

    Likes: availability of Print Preview button on tool bar; some of new functionality looks quite interesting, but haven’t experimented yet.

    Issues Experienced:

    1. program locking up and shutting down unexpectedly quite a bit

    2. some images not being displayed.  Example: maybe half of pix in posts at BoingBoing.net are present, as compared to Firefox

    3. not all content on pages is displayed at all times.  Example: at Wired.com, after the first 5 pieces at the top of the page, they have 2 columns of additional articles, before the blog post links. IE 8 beta 2 showed only 6 of these (3 articles in each column); Safari for Windows had 14 (7 in each column)

    4. a specific article at Wired.com did not display the comments section, but they were present when using Safari

    5. performance seems to lag somewhat from what I’m used to with IE 7

    Feature Request: upon opening a new tab, on the “What do you want to do next?” page, a link to launch your Home Page would be nice. I think I saw a place to launch this automatically somewhere, but I kinda like the new about:Tabs page.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for all of your work.

  69. Denison says:

    My OS: Windows XP Home, Version 5.1.2600

    Previous Primary Browser:  IE 7

    How I Use: “Everyday Browsing” (to use the expression in the title of the post)

    Likes: availability of Print Preview button on tool bar; some of new functionality looks quite interesting, but haven’t experimented yet.

    Issues Experienced:

    1. program locking up and shutting down unexpectedly quite a bit

    2. some images not being displayed.  Example: maybe half of pix in posts at BoingBoing.net are present, as compared to Firefox

    3. not all content on pages is displayed at all times.  Example: at Wired.com, after the first 5 pieces at the top of the page, they have 2 columns of additional articles, before the blog post links. IE 8 beta 2 showed only 6 of these (3 articles in each column); Safari for Windows had 14 (7 in each column)

    4. a specific article at Wired.com did not display the comments section, but they were present when using Safari

    5. performance seems to lag somewhat from what I’m used to with IE 7

    Feature Request: upon opening a new tab, on the “What do you want to do next?” page, a link to launch your Home Page would be nice. I think I saw a place to launch this automatically somewhere, but I kinda like the new about:Tabs page.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for all of your work.

  70. Denison says:

    I apologize for my double post above. It’s indicative of Issue #1 I noted. After I hit "Submit", the browser hung & I had to terminate with Windows Task Manager (via Ctrl-Alt-Delete). When I came back to re-post, the same thing happened. Rather than try a third time, I went straight to the blog post & saw my submissions had actually gone through.

    Also, I just noticed the "Compatibility View" icon on certain webpages, including BoingBoing, which seems to fix the image display issue I noted. It’s also there for Wired, but I haven’t spent any more time on it. Is this a long term feature or an interim item? It seems like the user shouldn’t have to worry about something like this (which "view" to be using), but I don’t know whether it’s a browser issue or that the website needs to be updated for new requirements.

    Thanks again.

  71. I go through one site and open couple links. Than I change address in this tab, and do the same for this new site. After reviewing one of new open tabs I decided to type new address in this tab and do the same stuff.. open related tabs.

    After all these operations I have one group of tabs. Is it OK?

  72. Open Web Standards says:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/29/hakon_lie_ie8_interoperability/

    Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise

    By Hakon Lie, CTO, Opera Software

  73. Why Questions says:

    Why is ther no easy way to automatically open your last browser session (say remembered on exit) – keeping all tabs intact automatically when a new browser session begins?

    Why do you have to open a browser, then tab, then go private – you shoud be able to go private straight away?

    Why cant you enable InPrivate blocking without being in private?

    ps: keep up the good work!!!

  74. From what it appears, tab grouping and color coding cannot be used while still making new tabs open to the extreme right. Surely this added functionality can be implemented as well by RTM?

  75. Please change the highlight color of the Find feature to match the color set by the user for the Windows "selection" color. Or use a richer color like the ones used in Vista’s version of Paint. Don’t use the horrible yellow.

  76. ASPInsiders says:

    Do you want to try Internet Explorer 8 beta 2? Or do you want to test your website with XP and Internet

  77. Justin L says:

    I just downloaded the beta 2, and I don’t know where else to leave comments, so here goes:

    In general, I liked the style and function of IE7, and I generally hate add-ons, so I appreciate the ability to turn them off. I like the tab grouping and the new "New Tab" features.  I can definitely tell that IE8 is running faster than IE7, and overall, I like it so far.  

    However, the "Smart" Address Bar is the most annoying feature of this upgrade.  There are a number of sites I regularly visit where I don’t want to go to the main page, but rather to a subpage.  For example, sometimes I simply want to go to someone’s YouTube site without going through the main page.  In IE7, you start typing and the dropdown list appears with all the pages at the site you’ve visited.  However, the new address bar only shows a couple of pages–and includes pages with "You" in their title, even if their URL does not contain "You".  This is really frustrating as a user.  I find I need to type basically the entire URL before the right page even appears in the drop down box, which is rather time-consuming.  This is true of forums, blog sites (myspace and facebook have become nightmarish to navigate from the address bar) too.  I know other browsers use "smart" auto completions, but I’ve always liked the simple drop down IE used.

    Is there a way to change settings to make it work better when you don’t want to go to a main page?  Thanks!!

  78. Chris says:

    Red is strongly associated with security warnings in IE7. It shouldn’t be used to color tab groups.

  79. pbnec says:

    @Nelson

    "No, No, No, No, No!

    Totally different contexts.  I don’t want to have to think… oh, when I want to search the page, I should go to the spot where I search the ENTIRE INTERNET.

    Also, how would you be able to ‘tell’ IE that you want to search JUST the page, not all of the DELL website, or eBay?"

    The search box can use an icon for showing that you are finding on the current page (not only the current search provider). In addition, the input focus can be changed to the search box when you are going to find on page. If you feel that is not enough, the search box can be blinking for notification…

    "This find feature has worked awesome in every other browser for YEARS now.  If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!"

    I think that Internet Explorer does not need to "copy" the actions provided by "every other browser" for maintaining its leading position. However, if IE provides some interesting actions, "every other browser" will surely "break" and "fix" for competing with IE…

    Nevertheless, I decide to made and merge a ".reg" file for removing the search box, and the content of that file is shown below~

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerInfodeliveryRestrictions]

    "NoSearchBox"=dword:00000001

  80. Internet Explorer Beta 2 released last week ( downloads ). Here is the current list of companies providing

  81. itcore_andrew@hotmail.com says:

    @Phylyp

    The entire "tab" being coloured makes it hard to distinguish–>Agree !

    Nice idea,

    possible to implement it this way,

    on same site, group it on same site

    say i research something on wiki, all my wiki page grouped on same tab

    if not 2 level tab, then one level tab, maybe on the left has the node to select which page

    if you like something better, group it on same context, but hard to implement

  82. Feature Reequest says:

    Imagine having ten items… or more… it would be easy to fill up the favorite bar.

    With only one click, you can add a page to the favorites bar; it would be better if there was a single click to take items off!!!

    Even better, would be a button called "Quick Slice" – similar to "Quick tabs" but with the additional capabilities of re-ordering the slices as they get displayed on the bar!!!!

    Added Suggestion: when the mouse rests on one of the items, make a hidden "X" appear. It would be obvious to any user that click on this "X" would remove it from the bar!

  83. Feature Request says:

    In addition to comments above, right clicking on a slice/feed/fav page on the Favorite bar is not intuitive!

    An "X" present when the mouse rests on an item is!!

    thanks

  84. Tony Getz says:

    You ought to at least give someone the chance to decide before you hack into their computer prompting them to download this new browser!  the URL is update.windowssettings.org  .org? I did not think you had .org I this is not you please investigate who is hacking into my computer! Tony R Getz

  85. cquirke says:

    Here’s a useful way of extending tab functionality: Break a selection (or color-group) of tabs out into their own window, and provide ways to move tab selections (or color groups) from one window to another – e.g. by rt-click Copy/Cut/Paste and by drag and rt-drag/menu-select.

    Other things to check and test:

    1)  Impact of content prompts

    I browse with many risks set to Prompt, rather than Enable or Disable, and that highlights a new set of issues.  Multiple tabs may all be stalled on these prompts, and there may be race conditions or resource inefficiencies when this happens.

    It’s tedious to have to nudge each prompt one at a time, so a way to "just say No" across all prompts would be good, too.

    2)  How fast can you shut it all down?

    Slow page loading isn’t that big a deal, because you can links into new tabs and read them later.  But when you’re done, you have to close all tabs at once… and that is performance pain!

    Now (1) and (2) tie together, because often when closing IE8, I have multiple tabs stalled on prompts that I never did get round to reading, and I suspect this complicates the browser shutdown process.  

    Let’s say I flick open 30 links as new tabs, but only read 8 of them, so I have 22 unread tabs to be closed when I shut down the browser.  

    Most pages may not only prompt on active content (if set to do so, of course), and may do so multiple times… so say each page does so twice, that’s 20-odd prompts I can get to by dealing with each tab in turn, followed by another 20 or so prompts that will pop up later, by which time I’m working on other tabs.

    That’s a usability nightmare!  The "answer" is "surrender part of our feature set – just swallow all risks un-prompted, or break most pages by silently disabling instead of prompting".  A better answer may be to auto-No all such prompts when closing the tab.

  86. Billigflug says:

    well, first of all I am happy that there is a special team to advance usability and the users "experience". But really, you are still after FF and that permanently. That FF is open source might be insecure, but I wouldn´t claim IE to be secure as well, although it isn´t open source.

  87. Chris says:

    Hi folks at Microsoft,

    Could you please add a function to open two or more Tabs parallel in the same IE window.

    Today many people have large monitors with resolution + 1680width, and many websits can be displays with 1024 res.

    So a function which helps me easly to read 2 websites at the same time would be really great (without starting a second IE window).

    Thanks,

    Chris

    (Sorry for my bad english)

  88. IEBlog says:

    For Beta 1, we discussed some of the technical improvements (like domain highlighting, multi-line paste,

  89. dale says:

    the resizing button on my keyboard dont work i can zoom in and out but cant use the % button

  90. IEBlog says:

    Hello everyone! One of the features we improved in IE8 is the ‘new tab’ page, which is the page you see

  91. JackyMao says:

    :), it’s interesting that when improved a new feature, then you reply on all your old blog~,:)

  92. Hello everyone! One of the features we improved in IE8 is the ‘new tab’ page, which is the page you see

  93. Bink.nu says:

    One of the features we improved in IE8 is the ‘new tab’ page, which is the page you see by default when

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    Hi, my name is JP Gonzalez-Castellan and I’m the Accessibility Program Manager for IE8. The IE team has

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  98. IEBlog says:

    Today we’re excited to release the final build of Internet Explorer 8 in 25 languages. IE8 makes what

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