Microsoft has taken Internet Explorer 8 out of public beta, and released it this week for everyone (at least, for all licensed users of Windows).
You can download IE 8 by going to www.microsoft.com. However, for a brand-new release, Microsoft makes it hard to find IE8 — you can still find IE7 In the Download Center under Popular Downloads. Just use the search bar at the top of the Download Center to search for Internet Explorer 8.
Strangely, if you search for Internet Explorer 8, it’s the Second thing that comes up as Results for "Internet Explorer 8". The first is the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar from May, 2007! Maybe if Microsoft could figure out how to deliver the most pertinent results first, they would be a lot happier with Live.com (formerly MSN.com)’s search popularity.
Well, I found IE 8 and downloaded it.
Microsoft’s instructions say to select Run. But, whenever you have choice to Run or Save, you should always save the file. Then, you can run it locally on your computer once the download finishes. That way, if something happens, you don’t have to download it again. Even more importantly, if your Internet connection fails while you are installing the program, you won’t have a problem.
Of course, if your power goes off…That’s why you should use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (a UPS — basically a battery backup).
On first sight, IE 8 looked pretty good. On the left below, we see the first screen of the installation program. Note that you need to declare whether you want to participate in the Windows Experience reporting process or not. Once you select either button, the Next button becomes available.
The next screen gives you the option NOT to install updates for Windows, Internet Explorer and Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. I don’t know any reason not to do these, unless perhaps you use dialup and don’t want to sit there for a long time.
The left screen below is a shot of the progress as IE 8 is being installed. I like being kept informed. I was less pleased with the screen on the right.
After restarting my computer, I double-clicked on the Internet Explorer 8 Troubleshooting icon on my Windows Desktop. The screen on the left is a clean, clear, simplistic waste of time. Microsoft could just as easily delivered me to the next screen in the series. This one really was useless.
As I wrote in my email newsletter this week, at this point, I did a whole bunch of things (without ever contacting Microsoft via this web page), including installing Windows XP Service Pack 3, having it fail (about 45-60 minutes per attempt, too), trying something to fix that, trying again, eventually solving that problem, and then installing Internet Explorer 8.
On the right screen below, we see the happy ending.
The first time I started IE8, I was underimpressed by its new speed. Strangely enough, when I clicked on a link in my home page, instead of opening the new link, IE8 opened another tab and a Welcome to IE8 page at Microsoft.com.
Well, we’ll see. There are a lot of new features in IE8, but, on its surface, it does not look a lot different than IE7 did. I’m pleased to see that, unlike with Internet Explorer 7, my web site still displays properly in IE8.
In the next article, I’ve written about some of the new features of Internet Explorer 8.
I encourage you to Comment to tell me what you like, or don’t like, about IE8.