IE8: Nine Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do


Our typical posts here are original information about the product from the people who built the product. This morning, I ran across a well-written article from PC Magazine with “some tips about features that you may not have noticed” in IE8.

We try to post a lot of useful information on this site (e.g. Session Cookies, sessionStorage, and IE8 or “How can I log into two webmail accounts at the same time?”) and it’s both exciting and humbling to see professional writers take it a step further.

Dean Hachamovitch
General Manager, IE

Comments (18)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do not be shy about explaining how to use inPrivate as an AdBlock Plus "equivalent".  It needs some work: subscriptions (auto updating) and better support for the AdBlock Plus format but it is a much better option than AdBrick for IE… until IEPro is ready for IE8 ;)

  2. Dan says:

    Smite, you’re not thinking strategically.  Very shortly after IE bakes in a native, easy to configure ad-blocker, *all* ad blockers will become 50% (or more) less effective.

    Advertisers aren’t stupid, and the only reason that adblockers work today is because they represent only a minor nuisance for advertisers.  When that stops being true, there will be a technology "arms race" and adblockers will *dramatically* drop in effectiveness.  

    All of us that love blocking ads should be pushing Microsoft NOT to make blocking ads any easier lest the sheep start blocking ads and ruin it for everyone.

  3. Anders Borum says:

    It’s all nice and dandy with IE 8 out the door, but it’s about time starting to spill the beans on the next version of IE.

    Whats going on? talk to us!

  4. Wow says:

    Dean Hachamovitch, I commend you for leading me to the PC Magazine article. I can’t believe it, but I can switch back to IE8 now because they actually found how to have the InPrivate Filtering setting be initially on!!!  I stated during the IE8 RC that that was the deal breaker and I would go back to Firefox if it was not "fixed" in the final release.  Well, it wasn’t, and I went back. LOL  So now, WOW!  The setting is actually in there, of course just hidden from the masses thanks to whatever IE team wisdon. heh  Thanks again!

  5. Moron says:

    "All of us that love blocking ads should be pushing Microsoft NOT to make blocking ads any easier lest the sheep start blocking ads and ruin it for everyone."

    Take a hike pal!  LOL  Adblockplus in Firefox is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And now IE8 can do it natively, that’s AWESOME.  3 cheers to MS for making it (a little bit, anyway) easier!  ha!!!

  6. Lucifer says:

    Why 9 things?

    Why not 10? could they not find 1 more?!

    Or even 8 things for IE8!

  7. Dan says:

    @Moron: Errr.. interesting choice of name, but hey, maybe you’re being ironic.  I can only hope so, because your comment makes no sense at all.  

    My point is that if you want to keep enjoying your "sliced bread," you have to keep it to yourself, or as few people as practical.  Otherwise, it’s not going to be nearly as good.

    Ever hear of the "Tragedy of the Commons"?  Do some research.

  8. Nick says:

    @Dan,Moron,Smite: Keep in mind how adblockers work.

    e.g. in my browser (Not IE – that’s for sure!) I block ads based on a URI.  Unless an advertiser manages to "fake" the URL/IP that it is being served up from they have no way to circumvent my blocking.

    Then again in reality I’m saving them money because I don’t download their animated GIF images, flash, etc. thus they save on serving costs – which is also good because I have never in my life on the Internet (since Netscape 2) actually clicked on an ad link.

  9. Dan says:

    And that’s EXACTLY where you’re wrong, Nick.  The only reason that you can block based on URL/IP is because the advertiser isn’t bothering to make these MUCH more difficult to predict, and because the content provider hasn’t bothered to write a little tiny bit of script to detect blocked ads and kick you out to a full page advertisement instead.

    These are both relatively simple things to do; I could bore you with about 50 different techniques. The advertisers aren’t bothering (yet) because somewhere well under 5% of users are blocking ads. That will change.

    Even the makers of the adblockers realize this and are trying to call for a truce:

    http://adblockplus.org/blog/an-approach-to-fair-ad-blocking

    Maybe a story is called for.

    I bought one of the very first Tivo boxes back in the day.  It was awesome. I could effectively block ads on every show I watched. Then, curse it, Tivo and other DVRs got popular, and soon everyone had one, even my grandparents and parents and non-technical friends.  

    Have you watched TV lately?  Ever wonder why the judges on American idol fondle Coke cups throughout the show? Or why the contestents "sing/perform" in commercials masquerading as content? Or why the bottom 20% of the screen is constantly overlayed by some kind of flashing gizmo trying to get you to take some action (watch something else, learn about a product, etc)? These things are almost a DIRECT result of the mass marketization of ad-blocking technology like Tivo.

    There is ZERO reason to believe the web model is going to behave any differently.

  10. CB says:

    Why won’t you support the latest scripting and html features in your releases ? You are always behind competitors for absolutely no good reason.

    Where is the HTML5 support for things like <CANVAS> currently supported (for a long time) by Firefox and Chrome.

    Is it because you fear nobody would use Silverlight if there was an easy browser independent way to do animations and video without plugins ??

    SVG support is aboslutely not the same thing since it isn’t even fully scriptable.

    And why did we need to wait until IE8 to get standards support ?? Amazing.

    You need to lead the development, not lagg behind competitors all the time !!!

  11. DT says:

    Earlier IEs had standards support. Just not the standards that you wanted. And as it wasn’t stated anywhere that those standards were being supported, this is completely the correct way of going about things.

    Complaining about it is like complaining that your unleaded car won’t run on diesel. If you want a car that does so then get one that supports it. The only real difference here is that in this case we would also have a lot of the petrol stations (developers) wanting cars to run diesel (more recent standards), but they have no real say in the matter.

  12. CB says:

    At least do some Silverlight based plugin that works like the standard <canvas>, including of course the scripting part. Preferrably it should recognize the <canvas> tag and not require an object tag.

    There so many other pet projects from MS devs so this should interest someone, either that or support one of the projects currently trying to emulate canvas support in ie.

  13. Deva Annamalai says:

    How about being able to pause a download and resume it in a later session? FF has been doing this for a while. For me this is a feature which has been missing for quite a while. If a lengthy download takes forever, I can pause it and resume later.

    When will we see this on IE8?

  14. lawrence says:

    I have Windows Vista with I E 7,

    version 7.0.6001.18 and cannot

    load Internet Explorer 8. Windows

    keeps sending it to me ( in my

    updates area ) and I try to load it and fail. I’ve done this four

    times now, why does Windows keep sending me a product that repeated

    fails ?   Bye.

  15. Shasur says:

    Thanks Dean Hachamovitch for posting the link. Hope IE8 ad-blocker algorithm gets constantly updated as advertisers try to circumvent it.

  16. hdw says:

    I am a dialup user and while SAVING A WEBPAGE the save webpage dialog in IE8 blocks ALL the tabs till the saving is over,it usually takes about 2-3 minutes per webpage saved(with images etc)If I save 10 webpages that adds up to 20-30 minutes of wasted time by using ie

    Although I have mentioned this a several times before MS has not given me a proper answer

  17. Dan says:

    hdw, what do you consider a "proper answer"?

    Microsoft *did* respond to you, acknowledged that this is a known and undesirable issue, and indicated that they have not yet fixed it.