Microsoft Drops IE8 Beta 2 - First Impression
After a brief test drive, I'm pleasantly surprised by it. Installation was almost totally painless, though I wish Microsoft would figure out how to pull off a reboot-free install. Pages rendered quickly and accurately, the Firefox import worked very well, and my LastPass toolbar worked without asking for an upgrade. The Google toolbar, however, failed to work.
I also appreciate that IE prompted me to disable an addon - the Acrobat toolbar - when I closed it's toolbar. It's a small but useful feature. Slices and accelerators are showing a lot of promise, and the two I tried - Stumbleupon Buzz and send to GMail - worked nicely. You can see the Stumble slice at work in my screenshot.
I'm not sold on SmartScreen yet. I expected Web of Trust-like funcionality, but it's just not there. I ran around several keygen sites that make WOT cringe and didn't get a single alert from IE. That needs adressing. I like the idea of InPrivate as well, but would like to be able to mix tabs instead of running two separate instances of the browser.
If you do install the new version, be sure to check out the IE 8 Gallery, a new website that provides one-stop access to accelerators, slices, search addons, and toolbars. It's much, much less annoying than the IE7 addon site.
Let us know your thoughts if you've demoed the new beta!