Internet Explorer 8: Beta, But Has Some Nifty Features

I was at Mix 08 recently, and got to see the test drive of Internet Explorer 8 while talking to one of Microsoft’s Program Managers. The first question I asked was, “so what did you guys break this time?” and the second question was, “what’s that nifty Emulate IE 7 button?”

(To this day, 15 years or so into the web, I still can’t believe we’re having browser wars.)

While they are still perfecting it and actually striving for a standard compliant browser, some of the notes from the conversations I had were:

  • It should be a lot faster (I hope so — I just downloaded the Firefox 3 beta, and it’s smokin’ fast).
  • The team says they will try to be as backwards compatible as possible.
  • How IE8 will handle Element ID’s will be much different than previous browsers, and could break a lot of sites.
  • A lot more built in tools like validating CSS and HTML will be right in the browser (and no more going back to Firefox to check).
  • You as the user can choose how compliant you want to view websites, because there will be several modes (including a “quirks” mode) to choose from.
That last one alone might be worth installing it.  I’m going to be test driving it for a while, so I’ll give reports of how I’m liking it.