Friday, August 29, 2008

IE 8 beta 2 available for download

Looking to get your hands on the latest and greatest version of Internet Explorer? Then don't miss the just released update to Microsoft's new IE 8 browser. Now in its second beta, Microsoft unleashed the bits yesterday for general consumption, so you can download them now and start testing your sites in the version of the browser still set to launch officially in Q4 of this year.

There is not much "surprising" news with this release, but there are quite a few enhancements both in performance and features. The most notable new feature is the "InPrivate" browsing mode (similar to Safari's "Private Browsing"), which will probably damage Safari's reputation as the browser of choice for porn. Frankly, I'm surprised Firefox didn't add this feature to FF3, as they are now the outsiders when it comes to providing built-in private browsing.

Speaking of Firefox, it is clear that the IE team now has its sights squarely set on toppling the upstart that challenged its dominance on the web. The latest IE beta includes modern in-line Find (finally!), groupable, color-coded tabs (FF does this with a add-in), and vastly improved developer tools (a la FireBug). Add to this IE's big steps forward in performance and memory management and you start to have a compelling alternative to Firefox. Now, if only it were cross platform...

Either way, the sleeping giant has awakened and I think Mozilla has been put on notice with the latest IE8 beta. What do you think?