Microsoft Hopes To Win Back Browser Market Share With Internet Explorer 8

IE8 Beta

( -- Microsoft has a lot at stake with the success of Internet Explore 8 since they lost 7 percent of their browser market to Firefox, Safari, and Chrome browsers. IE8 has been in release candidate since January of 2009 and will mostly likely be a target for criticism for similar features already existing in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome browsers.

Microsoft claims that offers some new features and hopes that they can win back some of the market share they lost. Here are seven new and enhanced browsing features that hopefully will win back some former Internet Explore users.


With the Smart Address Bar, IE8's address bar is transformed into a search field of sorts. By typing a word or phrase into the address bar, IE8 searches through your browsing history, favorites and feeds to find websites related to your word or phrase. The results are based on page titles and keywords within the web address.

Tab Groups

We all know that Firefox was the first browser to come out with Tab Browsing. Microsoft hopes that they can improve Tab Browsing by organizing the tabbed browsing concept with tab Groups.

This is accomplished by organizing tabs, that were opened from the same site, next to one another and using the same tab color. These tabs can then be closed or moved as one single unit.

Web Slices

Web Slices will keep you up-to-date on information that changes often such as , stock quotes, sports, etc. Unfortunately not all sites will be compatible with the Web Slice functionality.

Whenever there are new updates the Web Slice section, which appears on your , is highlighted. By clicking on it you see a preview of the latest information and by clicking through to the link you are taken to the site where you can read all the details.


The enhanced search box on IE8 allows users to select what search engine they want and toggle between their choices. Each search engine will then display its search results in whatever format it chooses. For example, Live Search and Google search results is a drop-down list of text links, whereas eBay and Amazon searches are listed as thumbnails with descriptions.

Compatibility View Button

Sites that are not IE8 compatible will have their text and images misplaced on the page. By selecting the Compatibility View Button, the IE8 browser would use the IE7 rendering engine. IE8 also lets users maintain a list of non-compatible IE8 sites so that they don't have to click the Compatibility View Button every time they visit these sites.


An Accelerator icon, in the form of a blue arrow, appears whenever a word or phrase on a page is highlighted. By clicking on the icon, a list of related services appears related to the word or phase typed in.

Users can manage and add many accelerators for various web services. For instance, Windows Live, Google and Yahoo services, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc. The list goes on and covers most popular Web services.

In-Private Browsing

When you are In-Private browsing, IE8 does not store data about your browsing session. This is accomplished by disabling your Temporary Internet Files, Web Address History, Cookies and Passwords. An In-Private" icon appears to the left of the url in the address bar whenever you are In-Private browsing and can be deactivated by simply closing the window.

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User comments

Mar 16, 2009
"Sites that are not IE8 compatible will have their text and images misplaced"

Oh Really?

Only in the mind of an out of touch Microsoft executive will every web developer recode all their pages for IE 8.

As for a "Compatibility" button, there should be absolutely no reason for this. This browser itself should be able to recognize what the web page was coded for, as most good browsers do now. Forcing consumers to click on a time wasting button, seems more like an attempt by Microsoft to twist the arms of web page developers into buying their software. "Unless you buy our Microsoft web software, many of your customers will have to waste time clicking on the compatibility button!"

Mar 16, 2009
As usual, Micro$oft have completely missed the point. They ignore the features and strategies that have allowed Firefox and others to steal its market share, and instead develop a wide range of stupid, pointless bells and whistles that nobody will use.

Mar 16, 2009
Don't need it, and don't want it. Firefox is great!

Mar 17, 2009
IE crashes on my computer a lot more than Chrome.

Mar 17, 2009
"We all know that Firefox was the first browser to come out with Tab Browsing."

From wikipedia
"Six years later, in 1994, BookLink Technologies featured tabbed windows in its InternetWorks browser. That same year, a text editor called UltraEdit also appeared with a modern multi-row tabbed interface. The tabbed interface approach was then followed by the Internet Explorer shell NetCaptor in 1997. These were followed by a number of others like IBrowse in 1999, Opera in 2000 (with the release of version 4), Mozilla in 2001, Konqueror 3.1 in January 2003, and Safari in 2003."


Mar 17, 2009
I prefer firefox for its ability to remember what tabs I had open last time and Chrome for its speed, its ability for tabs to survive another tab locking, and for the preview window of recent sessions when you start a new tab. IE? I have it - I just don't use it anymore; its slow, all sessions lock if one does, and it doesn't remember doo-didly.

Mar 17, 2009
When there is a browser that automatically disables ALL ads text-based and otherwise let me know.

oh wait... FireFox lets me do that with GreaseMonkey/AdBlock Plus

Mar 17, 2009
Friends! You can survive without microsoft! Use Ubuntu instead of Windows. Use Firefox instead of IE. Use OpenOffice instead of MS-Office. It's all free.

Mar 17, 2009
As usual m$ knows only one way of winning customers - strongarming them by compatibility issues.

This whole compatibility button is a pathetic strategy which they hope will force people to design web pages so that they work with the new ie and not work on the other browsers, in other words they are purposefully making this change to punish us internet users for not using ie and force us to switch to it. Luckily it's not an OS market and the ones really punished will be ie users who will have to click the stupid button.

Mar 18, 2009
They have lost some market share due to Firefox and Safari, but they are still very strong: http://www.statow...hare.php

Historically, they have not had a problem rising up and crushing the browser competition once they become focussed on this task.

I hope they don;t though - having healthy competition on this front ultimately benefits users.

Mar 24, 2009
As has been so since the start, Microsoft focus on control rather than on utility.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of Open Source principles, so... when you hear them proclaiming that they are "open," in any way, laugh & point.

Mar 24, 2009
Use Ubuntu instead of Windows. Use Firefox instead of IE. Use OpenOffice instead of MS-Office.

It works for me, but I use Mandriva on this hp/Compaq nx9040 laptop. Could also add...

Use The GIMP instead of PhotoShop. Use SecureSHell instead of Terminal Services. Use vi or KWrite instead of Notepad. Use Audacity on either system. Use Okular instead of Adobe PDF Reader. Use SMplayer or XMMS instead of Windows Media Player. Use Quanta instead of DreamWeaver. Use PostgreSQL or MySQL instead of MS SQL Server. Use WINE to play your favourite arcade puzzles. Use DosBox to safely play ancient MS-DOS games or run antique utilities. Use PySOL to see Solitaire games as never before...

Don't use any virus scanners, as there is no point.

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