Internet Explorer 8 (Beta) released

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 Beta yesterday and, surprisingly, it seems to be quite a good browser! I say surprisingly because Microsoft don’t have a track record in the good browser market 😉

I wrote a post a few weeks back comparing the speeds of various browsers and Microsoft’s current browser, Internet Explorer 7, was the slowest browser by a long margin.

Opera’s CTO HÃ¥kon Wium Lie was quoted recently making some very valid criticisms of Internet Explorer 7.

However, Microsoft seem to have addressed many of those issues in Internet Explorer 8.

I downloaded and installed it on my Mac last night (in the Parallels partition with XP as the OS).

Internet Explorer 8 Beta on Mac

It seemed to work well enough so I loaded up the Acid2 test and was surprised to find that it rendered correctly! This was a good sign!
IE8 Beta passes Acid2

So then I tried running the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark tests on it and it completed the test in an extremely respectable 9.9 secs. For comparison, Firefox 3.0b3 took 16.9 seconds to complete the same test.

There is still a lot of work to be done on IE8. It crashed several times on me when I was using it and it fails the Acid3 test miserably (17/100 compared to Firefox 3.0b3’s 61/100 and Webkit’s thoroughly respectable 87/100!).

Still, this looks like Microsoft are finally taking a step in the right direction with IE8. I am looking forward to seeing the final release.

UPDATE – I installed Internet Explorer 8 on my Vista laptop this evening (the same one where Webkit runs the test in 9,094.2ms) and IE8 completed the test in 19,906.4ms. This is roughly the same as Firefox 3.0b3 and is a vast improvement on the 66,870.6ms which IE7 took.

5 thoughts on “Internet Explorer 8 (Beta) released”

  1. If anybody is trying IE8 would recommend that they do so within VMWare or some other virtualisation tool (like Paralels for Mac).

    Installed the *beta* (yes I was asking for trouble) on Windows Vista with no end of problems. Thankfully the System restore feature in Vista let me (eventually) roll back the state to about 2 weeks ago with no data lost.


  2. worked fine for me – pretty nice browser and you can really notice the difference in the speeds and the rendering – look like Microsoft are finally giving the people what they want…

  3. Thanks for the screenshot, it looks a lot like IE7.
    But hopefully its better than IE7, what i want from a browser is something fully custumizable, like IE6.
    Though the tabed browsing looks pretty good and also that its easy to open a new one (mouseclick).
    Still for now I will stay with Firefox and IE6.

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