Internet Explorer 8 is finally here and you can download it here. The improved IE8 markets itself as having a faster browsing speed then IE7, accelerators, InPrivate Browsing, Web Slices, Search Suggestions and SmartScreen Filter.
Here comes the user experience part. I’m no big fan of Internet Explorer and has always been using Opera, Firefox or Chrome if given the choice. Web Slices and accelarators are perhaps the only thing that makes IE8 unqiue. So called InPrivate Browsing, Search Suggestions and SmartScreen Filter feaures can already be found in Opera, Chrome and Firefox, with different namings of course.
The biggest improvement I can see is that IE8 can now restore crashed tabs. One of the thing that makes older versions of IE so frustrating to use was that it’s slow, hangs up and crashes often on slower machines, without giving users the chance to reopen whatever they were reading before the crash. Unlike Opera and Firefox which already had the feature of restoring closed/crashed tabs ages ago, at least this much needed feature is finally here in IE8.
For web developers, the IE Developer toolbar (Tools > Developer Tools or F12) has also improved. But Firebug and Web Developer Toolbar extensions for Firefox are still the best tools for web development IMHO.
The IE team has also recently reported that IE8 uses up 90% less memory than IE7 after running continuously for 24 hours under Long Haul testing. Only time will tell now whether that holds true. More users will get to try out the new IE8 as it’s push through to all windows users through Microsoft Windows Update.