Today on Day 2 of MIX09, Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch during his keynote this morning in Las Vegas announced the availability of the final release of Internet Explorer 8 to download and install on their PCs.
Click here to download Internet Explorer 8!
Internet Explorer 8 is available for the following Windows releases: Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista (RTM), SP1 and SP2.
With Internet Explorer 8, common tasks on the Web are faster and easier. I’d like to take a moment and highlight how I am using Internet Explorer 8 today to quickly accomplish tasks that important to me. It all starts with my favorite Internet Explorer 8 feature – the Favorites Bar. The Favorites Bar in Internet Explorer 8 gives people quick access to information such as their top favorites and Web Slices.
On my Favorites Bar, I have Web Slices from partners such as Digg and The New York Times and of course Live Search (see my post on Live Search Web Slices). These Web Slices give me one click access to the latest news, weather, and traffic as I browse the Web. I never have to leave a webpage I’m on to view information from these Web Slices. When a Web Slice is updated, the slice on the Favorites Bar becomes bold. You can install Web Slices from The New York Times from this blog post from their First Look Blog and the Digg Web Slice can be installed by visiting Digg.com.
The Favorites Bar isn’t just a place for people to put their favorite Web Slices. In Internet Explorer 8, you can subscribe to an RSS feed and add it to your Favorites Bar.
With both RSS feeds and Web Slices on my Favorites Bar, I feel I am able to access important bits of information much quicker and easier.
The Favorites Bar is great at giving me information I want and keeping me up-to-date with things. But sometimes I need to quickly find something that’s not in my Favorites Bar. That’s where Internet Explorer 8’s Instant Search Box and Accelerators come in.
Internet Explorer 8’s Instant Search Box can provide Search Suggestions as you type in your search. When I search for “Windows” in Wikipedia, an Internet Explorer Search Provider, it provides me with suggestions (you’ll also note Instant Search also searches my History too).
Internet Explorer 8’s Instant Search also provides Visual Search. For example I am looking for some Zune accessories for my Zune 80. I want a dock for my Zune 80 for my office here in Redmond. Because just like with Wikipedia, I have Amazon.com as a Search Provider in Internet Explorer 8, I can search Amazon.com for Zune accessories and actually see the products.
Accelerators in Internet Explorer 8 can also be a huge help in finding information you need – directly off a webpage.
Yesterday evening I was invited to a little meet up in downtime Seattle at a place called Spitfire Grill. I’m not too familiar with downtown Seattle yet so I had no idea where this place was. With Accelerators in Internet Explorer 8 such as Live Search Maps, to find out where this place was real easy. All I needed to do was go to the Spitfire Grill website, select their address, click the blue Accelerator button that appears and choose “Map with Live Search” and a pop-out map appeared showing me where it was.
Accelerators aren’t necessarily just for finding information on a webpage. They can be used for sharing information on a webpage, or simply a webpage, too. My two favorite Accelerators I use to share information are the Share on Facebook Accelerator and fellow Microsoftie Adam Kinney’s Send to FriendFeed Accelerator. Both these Accelerators let me share webpages I find interesting that I would like other folks to check out.
So in closing, Internet Explorer 8 truly lets me do common tasks on the Web easier and faster. And because of it, I feel much more efficient. You should definitely go download Internet Explorer 8 today and give it a shot.
Feel free to share with me you favorite Web Slices, Search Providers or Accelerators in comments. Dig in at the Internet Explorer 8 Add-ons Gallery after you get Internet Explorer 8 installed.
And if you’re interested in how Internet Explorer 8 stacks up from a performance standpoint, I suggest reading this blog post and watching the following video: