Monday, March 23, 2009

'Internet Explorer 8' : My Review

Last week, 'Microsoft' released their 8th installment of their Internet Web Browser. I took this opportunity to install it on most of the computers that I use throughout the day, as well as a few other people's computers.

Installation was slow, but easy. Once installed (and after a restart of the computer), it asked me a very short series of questions. After that, it was "cake". The first thing I noticed right off the bat was nothing, you really have to look around at all those small icons to notice any changes. There are some new buttons on the surface, as well as behind the scenes (in the settings menu).

One thing I like about 'Internet Explorer 8' so far is it's many features. I list some of them here:
  • SmartScreen Filter
    • If you try to go to a website or web page that has a higher probability than most to potentially harm your computer, a 'SmartScreen' splash screen will appear on your screen telling you that that page you are trying to browse is unsafe, and asks you what you want to do from that point.
      • I like this security feature more than any other security feature so far. Well, it's neck-and-neck up there with the ever-so-famous pop-up blocker.
  • InPrivate Browsing
    • This security/privacy feature allows you to browse the Internet in "stealth mode". Meaning that you can surf the web without leaving a crumb-trail behind you. This way, when the Holiday season comes back around, you can e-shop til' you drop in 'InPrivate' mode and no-one will ever know what you have been window-shopping or buying online.
      • I probably will not be using this feature much, but it is nice to have.
  • Accelerators
    • These are little gadgets with little snippets of information (either graphical or otherwise) in relation to the information displayed on that page.
      • From the few 'Accelerators' that I have already used, the one I like using the most has to be the 'Map with Live Search'. All you have to do with this 'Accelerator' is highlight a typed-out location on a web page, then click on the blue icon with an arrow on it (pointing to the upper right-hand corner), then hover your mouse over the selection labeled 'Map with Live Search' and a map will appear beside that menu of the approximate location of the selection. Sure the task seems complicated, but it is quick and easier than it sounds.
The only thing I didn't like was no themes or skins.

Undoubtedly, I have enjoyed my short time with this Web Browser. I think 'Microsoft' did a wonderful job with this edition of 'Internet Explorer'. Furthermore, I think they made a smart move by releasing this (free) product into the wild. Because (let's be honest) the thing we do most on computers these days is surf the Internet. I think anyone who enjoys this product will like 'Windows 7', or should at least take a look at it.

Overall, I give 'Internet Explorer 8' a 4 out of 5.

For the record, my (primary) Internet Web Browser of choice if 'Mozilla Firefox 3'.