Have you ever been browsing the web and suddenly realized that you need to quickly check the weather, the traffic, or stock price for some company? With Internet Explorer 8 you can get all of that information, and much more, without ever having to navigate to another site or leave the page you are on. We call it a Web Slice. With Live Search and Internet Explorer 8, you can have quick access to this kind of information and more.
So what are Web Slices exactly? Web Slices bring the user’s favorite data directly into the Internet Explorer 8’s Favorites Bar, making it instantly available wherever the user goes on the Web. The screenshot below shows a Web Slice for tracking the weather for Seattle:
Instead of having to repeatedly visit websites to check for updated information, Web Slices allow people using Internet Explorer 8 to keep track of information from within a webpage right from the Favorites Bar. When a website has a Web Slice, users will be notified a Web Slice exists within that page in several ways:
A green Web Slice icon will appear in the Internet Explorer Toolbar (where the RSS feed icon usually is) notifying you that the webpage you are on has a Web Slice. As you move your mouse through the webpage, when you mouse over an area of the webpage that has the Web Slice, the Web Slice icon will also appear. This is because as I mentioned above, Web Slices are snippets of information within a webpage.
Today, Live Search provides several really neat Web Slices (that ties in with search results) that allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest information on local weather, traffic, top headlines, and stocks as you browse the web.
Live Search Weather Web Slice: When searching weather for a specific city or town in Live Search, the results provided show the current weather for that city or town and the forecast for the next 4 days. These results are also offered as a Web Slice which can be added to your Favorites Bar in Internet Explorer 8.
For example, if I search “weather Seattle” in Live Search, I get the current weather and 4-day forecast for Seattle. I can add to this Web Slice to my Favorites Bar and stay on top of the weather for Seattle. The Web Slice will regularly update with the latest weather information.
A screenshot for the Live Search Weather Web Slice can be seen above.
TIP: You can right click on a Web Slice on the Favorites Bar in Internet Explorer 8 to “refresh” a specific Web Slice or all Web Slices to get up-to-date information.
Live Search Traffic Web Slice: This one is my personal favorite. In Live Search if you search on traffic for a specific city (like Seattle), you are given the latest traffic for that city in your results. These traffic results are also a Web Slice which can be added to your Favorites Bar. If you live in your browser – this could be a great way to stay up on traffic (and when it might be a good time to leave work!).
Please note that this Web Slice (and traffic results in Live Search) is only available for select cities that offer traffic data. If you search for traffic for your city or town and the search results don’t offer up any traffic then it is likely Live Search does not have traffic data for your city.
TIP: You can grab a specific Web Slice on your Favorites Bar and drag it left or right and change the order Web Slices and Favorites are displayed on your Favorites Bar.
Live Search Top Stories Web Slice: Stay on top of the top stores from Live Search! When you go to Live Search News, you can add the Top Story Web Slice to your Favorites Bar. It also works with specific search topics (like Windows 7) under Live Search News too.
Live Search Finance Web Slice: Just like with weather, you can search for stock results on a specific company on Live Search. The financial results for that company can be added to your Favorites Bar as a Web Slice.
TIP: You can grab the corner of the expanded Web Slice and make it bigger.
I hope you find these Web Slices useful! There are many other Web Slices available that do a variety of things – such as the eBay Web Slice that lets you track eBay auctions. In the next couple weeks I’ll be talking more about Web Slices and the Favorites Bar.
Last week we made available Internet Explorer 8 RC1 for folks to download. If you haven’t already, download it from http://www.microsoft.com/ie8.
To get even more Web Slices for Internet Explorer 8, head on over http://www.ieaddons.com!
8, while the Internet came along painfully told my friend, but was taken in error correction believe
try to make ie8 a little more faster and try to fix the acid3 score to more than 50-60.
I also found how to add the quicklaunch back in Windows 7 here:
Best of both worlds I guess, great job guys!
Thanks Brandon for the update, I guess that means many of the issues in the IE8 Beta in Windows 7 Beta are just version related, which is good to know. I will have to give IE8 RC1 a go in Vista, unfortunately with the desktops
The Quicklaunch issue isn't really related to IE. However I really miss the Quicklaunch in Windows 7 Beta. I'm just voicing my opinion for more customisation in the final RTM.
The way I personnally use Links/Favorites bar in IE for websites is essentially the same way as I use the QuickLaunch area for applications, to me these areas serve a very similar purpose. I use them essentially in the same way.
To change the way these areas work is not bad, but I want the ability to restore these function to how it behaved in Vista as an option.
Actually thanks for making me read up on the superbar, many other people are confused it appears on how it works and have some of my issues, however a quote from a Microsoft rep here explains it a little:
I didn't know that you could launch another instance of a running application by right clicking the application on the taskbar and then left clicking the icon. Windows 7 is starting to make a little more sense to me right now. I guess I need to go purchase "Windows 7 Beta For Dummies!" .
The running apps on the taskbar essentially function as a quick launch for that app - interesting :-) . Maybe I dont need a QuickLaunch after all.
newscientist2000, the issue you are seeing on this site regarding tags is due to the fact in the Windows 7 Beta you are using a newer IE8 build than IE8 Beta 2 but not yet RC1. Therefore, there are many changes seen in IE8 RC1 (available today for Windows Vista) that you don't have in the Windows 7 Beta. If you were to install IE8 RC1 on Windows Vista and come to our blog here - the tag issue you mention no longer exists.
Also: I'm not quite sure how Quick Launch ties in to IE8 in Windows 7 or the removal of Quick Launch.
An article on Web Slices.....beautiful....this has the tech industry and power users all warm and fuzzy.
How about an article how Windows Movie Maker was borked and the theory behind un-developing it from a solid dvr-ms and maybe the new mtv file editor.
Opera 10 Alpha is the fastest browser available today...FireFox is very clunky...Chrome is buggy and ugly...and IE8 will serve the masses just fine.
You must have known Brandon all these posts here where just inevitable.
Okay, I must have been mis-informed on the outlook thing, I stand corrected.
Brandon: When I said multiple accounts I meant sort of...
Log onto Windows Live Mail, check email over several accounts, log off
Another family member comes along, logs on to another set of email accounts, checks mail, logs off.
I know that you could just put all accounts in the same place, but that can get cluttered, and sometimes you won't want other people to have access to your email. E.G. (to use the argument for private browsing) if you were buying a present for someone online, you wouldn't want them to see the confirmation emails etc.
Are you refereing to the fact that Outlook 2007 is not included as part of the Office 2007 Home and Student package, where as Outlook 2003 was in Office 2003 Student and Teacher Edition? This was because OneNote replaced Outlook in this package.
However you can still get Outlook 2007 as part of other Office 2007 packages such as Office 2007 Standard, see here for a comparison of different Office 2007 versions:
Also if your a university student there is special student pricing here on a version of Office that includes Outlook:
OK, I've been running Windows 7 for a while now, and there is a lot that I like about it. Its fast, quick, it has lots of little features like the desktop themepacks and the way it names duplicate files that I like however...
I dont like the some aspects of Internet Explorer 8.0.7.000
First compatability mode is needed for far to many websites, I know this is not a killer as compatability mode can be fixed with updates... I imagine these compatability mode updates turn on the compatibility mode automatically for non-complaint websites as a default.
However when even Microsofts own websites render incorrectly such as this:
(At least on my machine the Tags section of this page is messed up/rendered incorrectly.)
Can you really expect the rest of the web to become compliant if Microsoft is not complaint? A Microsoft survey I took as part of the Windows Feedback Program, also didn't render correctly, and then exited when I tried to turn on compatability mode to solve the problem.
Of course this is a beta, and maybe these problems will generate info for the final release which will not have these issues, fingers crossed. This doesn't mean that Windows 7 isnt good, it is, but that IE8 better work on release lest everyone and their dog will download and use FireFox, or worse Chrome.
I used to use the links toolbar exclusively in Internet Explorer to keep my favourite sites close, it now puts new favourites at the top of the list which means the shortcuts are always shifted whenever I add a new site. This is frankly kinda annoying. Again this would force me to use Firefox more than IE, not a biggie I use both, but really do you want people not to use IE?
Also the QuickLaunch is gone, which frankly is how I launch all my apps, sure I can pin programs to the taskbar, but that doesnt allow me to launch multiple instances of a program easily since the pinned program becomes active removing the shortcut once launched, also kinda annoying.
I can add the quicklaunch back as a Toolbar to regain some functionality.. but then the full "Quick Launch" folder name appears as the Toolbar. Why not make this an icon instead of a name so that it takes up less real estate? Why not improve the custom Toolbar function so you could make your own Quicklaunch area there, defaulting to different folders of shortcuts with a custom icon?
Actually the Taskbar now works better on the sides than on the top or bottom of the screen.
Anyway, I'm not trying to diss Windows 7, because it is beta, I love the performance of it, and my biggest issues are with IE8, and frankly I would just make Firefox my default browser.
However hopefully the QuickLaunch will be at least an option in the final release, IE8 will run fine, and the Links in IE8 will be fixed, or configurable.
I do like the show desktop preview, its great combined with the wallpaper shuffle feature, and just makes sense, now that I can no longer delete the show desktop accidentally. However it would be nice to be able to move it to the left side if needed.
Keep up the good work, just please make Windows 7, and IE8 more configurable than it is so people can work the way that they like to work if needed.
Scutterman, not sure what you mean but Outlook is certain still included in Office. Outlook isn't going away.
Windows Live Mail is Microsoft's free desktop email application, part of the Windows Live Essentials suite, for consumers to sync their Hotmail accounts or any other personal email accounts they may have.
Also: Windows Live Mail does allow for multiple email accounts - that's what its great at. You can have multiple Hotmail accounts, IMAP accounts, or POP3 accounts. I have a variety of email accounts configured in Windows Live Mail today.
roundcat, sorry to hear about your experiences. First off, Web Slices should work even if you answer "no" to the questions after first launching IE8. Secondly, if you are using IE8 Beta 2 you should look at uninstalling and installing IE8 RC1 which the above post talks about. And regarding Live Search - Live Search is a search engine and not tied to eBay.
"outlook is not included in office anymore"
Aren't they switching all of that to Windows Live Mail? [Which is unfortunately shortened to WLM, just like messenger]
I don't know why though... I can deal with outlook if I have to, but mail is just... I dunno, I just don't like it. Plus you can't log out, so it's useless for multi-account families who use the same machine, unless you want them going through your mail.
I cannot get the thing to work and I know why. When I installed internet explorer 8 beta, I said NO to all the questions I was prompted with during the installation. I find the whole concept of this thing called 'live search' disturbing. It makes me think that my interests, items im interested in on ebay etc is being recorded by microsoft therefore they can aim adverts at me more succinctly when I browse.
The idea of having microsoft peering over your shoulder is exceptionally disturbing. I suppose mainly because Microsoft have a 'consumer hostile' interface. Constantly checking that we know what we are doing, having windows firewall and defender plague us with popups it takes and age to get rid of (only to have them return when you do an update (or rather MS do an update in the background)). Microsoft tell me I dont have genuine software when I do, (BLOODY EXPENSIVE TOO!) implying I'm a thief, outlook is not included in office anymore, expression web is impossible, costomer sup[prt stinks. Microsoft has a lot to learn from Apple (and I'm a PC user!) and if they expect people to trust these new tools - well, PR needs to develop first. Forget the open battle with apple in your advertising...just stop instaling thinsg and patronising users. Oh just tried to install silverlight..."installation failed'. Ah well. Maybe in a year or so...
Brandon you asked:
"Have you ever been browsing the web and suddenly realized that you need to quickly check the weather, the traffic, or stock price for some company?"
Answer: No. Never. Not an issue.
Interesting if I set my location as United Kingdom (where I live), then web slices don't appear when I check, for example, Leeds weather. If I set my location to the US they appear...
Could you enable slices globally from live.com???
For the people who are torn between the slices of IE8 and the speed of Firefox I will make it easier for you. I stumbled upon a firefox labs addon called Ubiquity. It basically does what the slices do and more, except you get a command window rather than a favourites folder. Check out the video for a better demonstration:
And the main page is:
It's still in alpha stages at the moment, but it seems to work well, and the map, weather, email (just google for now I'm afraid) and translate commands (to name just a few) really save time, and the possibility of developing and sharing custom commands is really cool.
I agree with a lot of the sentiments already posted here. IE, even version 8 RC 1, is too sluggish. In terms of page loading, layout, and UI responsiveness IE is significantly behind Firefox and Chrome.
Innovation has slowed to a trickle in the development of IE. If you compare it to other browsers there is very little to differentiate it (web slices only come to mind), and most of IE's other features are done better by other browsers. I am using Chrome right now, with Live Search as my default search provider, and it's amazingly responsive, with a crisp elegant UI, and screaming fast page-loading.
Maybe IE 8 will be good enough to stop the steady user migration to other browsers, but it's certainly not good enough to attract people that have left IE back.
Plus it gets old having to wait for the next version of IE to go gold.
Honestly, I get impatient with Microsoft sometimes for being so slow with IE development (I know it is hard to develop and deploy, especially with Microsoft's business commitments, but Microsoft is such a large company, you'd think they could just throw programmers at the problem even if this scenario doesn't work in real life most of the time) even though it is much faster then it was back in the IE6 days, especially since wonderful products like the Windows Live Essentials bundle work so well and get upgrades so often.
Of course, the IE8 team isn't failing to innovate (especially with the separate processes to protect against crashing feature that Chrome blatantly nabbed; I was so happy when they did however, because seeing it in more browsers is cool). But they are moving very slow, and there is the feeling of the Vista development happening, where Vista announced a ton of cool features a long time before its launch, and by the time it got out, the competition had stolen all the features and then pretended that Vista had copied it.
In short, it is very, very frustrating, even with the great rivalries between the Firefox and IE teams (I love it when they exchange cake). IE8 RC1 is nice, but I expect more from Microsoft (even if I like webslices, accelerators/activities/whatever, etc.), and I expect it now.
i did indeed and you're right it's definately nippier than the beta was and i am so happy to see the developer tools, but head to head with chrome, both with totally cleared caches, chrome booted microsoft.com in 1-2s and ie8 booted it in about 3-4s and in general browsing the net is still slightly snappier in chrome. i am going to give ie8 some testing.
btw, ie8 threw an error for the microsoft.com homepage on first attempt as copied below but chrome degraded gracefully but is now working on subsequent attempts with ie8.
Webpage Script Errors
User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/4.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506)
Timestamp: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 21:55:31 UTC
Message: 'Silverlight' is undefined
adcworks, have you tried IE8 RC1? It's pretty fast.
For My is Best İnternet Explorer X :-)
Coming Soon , I Want to Make a Questionnaire , For İNTERNET Explorer, Firefox , and Opera .. : -)
See You , My Friend's...
im happy with live bookmarks in firefox.
Honestly I used to be a heavy user of IE7, but slowly I realized that how slow IE7 was compared to Firefox. I m not even comparing in terms of loading pages but launching the browser. And the experience I have for IE8. I try to use it often in Win7 beta but then I get attracted to Firefox whenever there is a delay in IE8 browser launching. I hope this gets fixed as I really want to use IE8 as my primary browser because of its few new features
it's a pretty nice idea, just a shame that IE is too slow. speed and lightweight > features for me. perhaps if IE could be made as fast as Chrome or FF I would consider switching back. Until then we have vista/w7 desktop gadgets for this stuff, one click to minimize all windows to see them all at once.
I wish/hope this is available for Firefox.