So, I actually liked IE7, but ended up going to FireFox because I really liked some of its features and plug-ins. However, I’ve always enjoyed the look and feel of IE7, so when IE8 Beta was announced, I wanted to give it a try to see if IE8 was going to win me back. I have to say, it won’t with this beta. I have to say, I hope beta 2 is better because IE8 isn’t winning me over.
Yes, it has some neato new features. Slices are interesting, although easy enough to do without IE8. Activities are just glorified keywords and look more to lock in users to sites then make someones life better. The favorites bar looks like the old links and, for the most part, copies Firefox and Safari. It does import your other browser’s favorites and feeds. A nice touch I might add. But it its attempt to find replacements for my Firefox plug-in’s didn’t really work. Too bad. The one feature I was hoping for, in-line spell checking, is still missing. Considering Microsoft’s own Word started the trend, I’m surprised to see other browsers taking the lead. I have to say, this is one of the features that makes me use Firefox over IE. And yes, there is ieSpell, but cut and paste in Word would be faster then that software. Feature wise, IE8 seems to be a bust.
Much has been made of Microsoft’s decision to make “super standards” mode the default in IE8. Great, I say. My pages that look great in Firefox and Safari should still look great in IE8, right? Not so fast. Seems IE8 isn’t quite up to speed yet. Yes, it may pass Acid 2, but seems it doesn’t render floats properly. I see tons of sites, that render just fine in those other browsers now break in IE8. So either IE8 is the only one doing it right, or its rendering engine isn’t quite ready for prime time. I’m hoping for the latter, because I rarely visited a page that didn’t display incorrectly. I’d chalk it up to people programming for previous versions of IE, but these same sites, again, work fine in Firefox, Safari and Opera. Strike two.
Lastly, I’m thinking that IE8 is more Alpha then Beta. Simple sites caused it to crash and hang. Not all plug-in’s work either, also causing IE8 to crash. There is a nice feature to recover just a tab instead of crashing the whole browser — a nice feature I’d wish Firefox had. But, a hung tab still hangs the hold browser. At least IE8 now copies Firefox’s session recovery.
I would definitely recommend that you head Microsoft when they say IE8 beta is just for web developers. IE8 is not ready for prime time. You are much better off sticking with IE7 or, like me, Firefox.