One of the things that I learned from working on IE is that there are common patterns of how users browse the web, yet what they browse varies person to person. We designed Visual Search Suggestions, Accelerators, and Web Slices to simplify common patterns with the flexibility for you to customize these features with services that you enjoy. I want to explain how IE8 treats services and share how I personalize IE8 with my favorite services in less than 5 minutes.
We want to provide an out-of-box experience for you to easily try out the new features to IE8, Accelerators and Web Slices. The first time you install IE8, your browser is loaded with Accelerators and Web Slices for you to get started. You can opt-out of the out-of-box Accelerators and choose your own through the Settings Wizard or Manage Add-ons.
IE8 respects your existing services on a version (IE7 to IE8) and build-to-build (Beta 2 to RC 1) upgrade.
Search providers were available in IE7, and IE8 keeps your previous search providers and the default setting. IE8 also checks and updates your search providers with suggestions, so that you can start using suggestions automatically. For instance, if you installed the Amazon search provider on IE7 and upgrade to IE8 you get results from Amazon directly from the search box:
For Accelerators and Web Slices, IE8 keeps your services and default settings on build-to-build upgrades.
Customize IE8 with your own services
The IE8 Add-ons Gallery is a way for you to find the services that you use on a daily basis. After I install IE8 on a new machine, I take a few minutes to install my favorite services before I start browsing. If you’re on IE8, click the add link to try it out!
Search – access search results and suggestions from the search box
Accelerators – get contextual services from any webpage by selecting text
Web Slices – get notifications if the site updates from the Favorites Bar
To further tweak your search provider and Accelerator settings, use Manage Add-ons from the Tools menu.
I’m constantly discovering new services through the gallery, and the gallery inspired me to create my own Accelerator over the holidays (RetailMeNot, an Accelerator to help keep my shopping spree under control). If you’re pretty tech savvy, consider creating your own service and sharing with the community.
Enjoy the RC1 build!
Update 2:30: Updating OneRiot Webslice link.