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8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

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If you know me, or if you’ve read this site enough, you’ll know I’m not a fan of Internet Explorer. I’ve used Firefox since version 1 and I much prefer it. However, Microsoft have a lot of things right with IE8, and in this article, I want to share why you should consider IE8.

Internet Explorer 8 is the latest browser in the IE family and comes packed with so many new features that I initially wrote it off as a bloated mess. After spending three days using IE8 exclusively, I share my findings and hope to help you make the decision to use the browser or not.

Initial Impressions

IE8 is both fast and easy to use. When looking for a browser, these are two key components that help differentiate the browser from the other offerings out there. I’m not going to get technical in this article; I want to explain the facts in plain English and have you find out if IE8 is for you.

8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

Here are eight reasons I feel make IE8 stand out and contribute to why you should download IE8:

1. Web Privacy Protection

Some sites and advertisers track your browsing habits and serve ads and suggestions based upon those habits. With IE8, you can protect your browsing privacy and block tracking cookies.

To block tracking cookies, simply press the ALT key, click Tools > Internet Options, click the Privacy Tab, and set your privacy settings to Medium or higher (Medium privacy is the default setting for IE8.) Doing so will result in the following privacy report on www.mintywhite.com:

ie8 01 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

To view the privacy report yourself, press the ALT key, click View >Webpage Privacy Policy…

2. Local Privacy Protection

If you are using a public/shared computer or if you want to protect your privacy on the machine you are using, IE8 comes with InPrivate browsing. This feature stops IE storing tracking information on your browser and allows you to browse the internet without leaving tracks behind you. To enable InPrivateBrowsing, click Safety > InPrivate Browsing (CTRL+SHIFT+P)

ie8 02 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

3. Web Surfing Protection

The SmartScreen filter helps you check a websites validitiy and report suspicious websites. There are too many phishing sites to count online and the number increases every day. With the smart screen filter, you can protect yourself by checking websites before you use them.

To use the SmartScreen Filter, click Safety > SmartScreenFilter, and choose an option.

ie8 03 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

4. Page Content Search

I search webpages for text all the time (usually after a search.) I couldn’t stand IE7’s pop-up search box. IE8 has replaced the search box with a search bar that functions much like Firefox’s–much better!

ie8 04 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

5. Web Accelerators

Web accelerators help you perform routine tasks more easily. View the possibilities of IE8 Web Accelerators here.

ie8 05 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

To use a web accelerator, right click on the webpage and click All Accelerators > Your Accelerator. Using the Share on Facebook accelerator takes you to the Facebook share page (once you’ve logged into Facebook.)

ie8 07 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

6. Source Viewing/Editing in Your Favorite Editor

This one is a simple addition but I love it. Now, instead of viewing a page source in a plain browser-based text editor, IE8 opens page source code in your favorite editor. This isn’t useful for most people, but if you’re a web designer or similar, you’ll probably find this a useful feature.ie8 08 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

7.  Recently Closed Tabs

To view recently closed tabs and more, open a new tab in IE (CTRL+T) and you’ll see a list of recently opened tabs — very useful.

ie8 09 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

8. Web Slices

Web Slices are pretty cool; however, they’re not for me. I’m not normal, so I decided to add them to this list and hope you “normal” people will benefit from them. After all, I’m not telling me to use IE8, I’m (kindly) asking you to give it a try. Put simply, Web Slices take “chunks” of web pages and give you quick access to them anywhere. There aren’t too many Web Slice-enabled pages right now. But to get your first Web Slice, go to Live.com, search for “[your hometown] weather” and you should see the following:

ie8 10 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

Click the green icon and you’ll be asked the following:

ie8 11 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8

Add the Web Slice to your Favorites bar and you’ll never need to go to your weather site again!

Bonus: Crashed Tab Handling

Some web pages aren’t well put together and poorly written scripts and data overload can cause your browser to crash. In IE8, if one tab crashes, you can re-launch it without affecting your browsing; other tabs stay in tact and you don’t need to restart your browser.

What I Don’t Like About IE8

I’m still not a fan of the following:

  • Lack of decent Add-on support
  • Difficulty in blocking ads (see above)
  • Opening IE, typing an address, and finding IE wasn’t quite ready as it deletes my address and loads my homepage (picky, but I don’t like to be slowed down)
  • IE’s strict web standards enforcement, which break most websites (even in compatibility mode.)
  • IE8 still feels sluggish at times
  • IE8 is harder to customize than Firefox (for example: compressed menus)


As you can see above, I really like IE8 and, if I had to, I’d use it all the time and not have a major problem with it. I’ve discussed some great features and feel these are great additions. It all boils down to how you find the experience. I’ve pointed you to some of the prominent and useful features, now give it a try. Already using IE8? Avoiding IE8 like the plague? Share your thoughts about IE8 in the comments below.

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25 Responses to 8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8



I decided to give IE8 a whirl a few weeks back and as you’ve pointed out Rich,it has several worthy new features. However,I found it to be sluggish [compared to IE7] and I rolled back to IE7 on my XP-Pro desktop because IE7 is definitely faster IMHO! - I didn’t even bother installing IE8 on my Vista laptop because I didn’t want to be “stuck with it”! [As you can't roll back to IE7 if you install SP2 AFTER installing IE8!]


John Shelton

Your credibility has gone to zero with this article. How much did Microsoft pay you to lie for them like this?? IE8, as delivered with Windows 7 beta, has driven me to install Firefox (which lacks several useful features of IE7 and IE8) because IE8 simply does not work. Often I cannot open a website with IE8 and have to close IE and open Firefox to access the website. Have frequent freeze-ups with IE8 and have to close the browser and start over.

Here’s two reasons NOT to like IE8; want 6 more to balance your story?



My favorite feature of those above is the web accelerators, but It still isn’t enough to get me to break away from Firefox. I have used Firefox since version 1.x and even if I couldn’t use it I would use Opera or Chrome, but I did learn that IE isn’t as bad as I think from this guide.



Yet,another great article keep up mate :) to be honest im using sevral browsers these days in order to choose the what suits me and as it seems its the FF :)



Well, I just learned something new. I just figured out how to use the search bar and I just tried out the source viewing. Thanks for the great tips, Rich!



Not necessary John… maybe it didn’t work for you, but you aren’t everybody. Personally, as an IT student, I have had no problems with IE8 in Windows 7. I still prefer FireFox for its accuracy and speed, but IE8 has closed the gap with its new features. Good job Rich. PS, I like the Web Slices… it makes it easy to check the scores on my White Sox.


William Throop

I wish Micro$oft would allow the source code out for IE8, then we could enjoy additional add ons. There are a few, but not as many as FF. As you have mentioned Ad-Block Plus is great, too bad It’s not available for IE



Just adding a tip here. John, I’m not sure why you can’t open a website with IE8. I’m using the final released version with XP SP3 and it works like a charm. So far, it hasn’t been what I would describe as sluggish.

If you’re having problems opening websites, perhaps try the compatibility view feature. There’s a check box in the compatibility view settings which can be selected that will enable viewing of every site with ‘compatibility view’. Just go to the Page tab, click on it, and you’ll find it.



Here here MSherwood! Jog on John.
I used IE8 exclusvely for about 3 months (from when installed W7 Beta-W7RC) and i never had any problems with it. New tabs occassionally took up to about 4 seconds to load, but no freezes, or crashes.
I certainly agree that MS has closed the gap (slightly) with it’s new features. They just need to do the same with the speed, both FF & Chrome blow it out of the water!
….i feel a new thread coming up :)



Great tips!
I just found out the web slice feature because of it.
I had Windows XP-Pro and Windows 7 both installed IE8.
I don’t know the reasons but IE8 on Windows XP-Pro seems a bit slower than IE8 on Windows 7 which noticebly faster.
and It was not a specs issue since both PC used the same router.

I’m not a picky guy so both IE and Firefox are fine for me!



@ John Shelton - As Angie pointed out,maybe you ought to have left the Compatibilty View feature on……did you use the Compatibilty View feature at all??



I don’t care what anybody says about IE-any-version. IE sucks. FireFox rules.



8 Reasons Why You Should Download IE8 | Windows 7 News … http://bit.ly/HbPL5

This comment was originally posted on Twitter


Google Money

Hi Robin,

I really hate Internet Explorer. This is because I had heard that its more prone to viruses then Firefox. But, after reading your post on it, I think I will be downloading IE8 and giving it a try for sure.

Thanks for posting the great info.



Good article my friend


Terry K

Thank you!



I agree with randomchaos and John, I am not comfortable with IE8 as I am with IE7 though I use both IE7 and FF.



See 8 great reasons why you should download IE8! - http://bit.ly/fuSsp

This comment was originally posted on Twitter



RT @IE: See 8 great reasons why you should download IE8! - http://bit.ly/fuSsp

This comment was originally posted on Twitter



RT @IE: See 8 great reasons why you should download IE8! - http://bit.ly/fuSsp

This comment was originally posted on Twitter



NEVER DOWNLOAD IE8 its sooo crap.. you would only hate it and try go get IE7 BACK.. TRUST ME - dont listen to this site!



IMHO i still prefer to use ff.. than ie8
in some site ie8 didn’t display it correctly
in compatibility mode just the same
when browsing multitabs… sometimes it will crahed (very annoyying)

what i like in ie8 is web slice.. ho5 its just like netscape navigator weather bug… but its better than weather bug

but still better if use ie7 and ff…

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