Dwight Watt - Newspaper article #2 3/25/2009

Question: Should I get the new Internet Explorer 8?

Answer: You may want to. It has some nice new features and is not drastically different than previous versions. If you are using Firefox or other types of browsers you will probably want to stay with them as Microsoft appears mainly to be catching up to them.

Internet Explorer (IE) 8 is the latest version of Internet Explorer (Microsoft’s web browser program) and was just released last week. I have used the beta version for over a month on one of my machines.

IE 8 has several improvements over the previous versions. It resembles the competitors (Firefox, Safari and others) much closer than previous versions. My experience is that it appears to load web pages quicker than previous versions.

Microsoft says it is a more secure browser. It may be, but I am sure in the coming months we will hear of security holes in it. Smart screen Filters is a new item in it to help make browser safer for normal Internet users. AVG and Firefox and others already offered it (and IE on a lesser degree). It checks sites that you are either hovering over links for or sites you have browsed to for frauds and phishing. However it will not catch all.

Suggested Sites is a new feature to IE when you type in a word or letters in the address bar IE will start suggesting sites based on that and your history of visited sites or entered addresses.

Accelerators will give a number of different features if you install them. One of them when an address is entered will give a map of the location or definitions of words.

IE 8 is different than previous versions and some web pages may not appear correctly in it. I have only encountered a few, but Microsoft included a solution. There is a Compatibility Button which allows you to look at sites that do not work correct in IE8 in a previous version of IE so they will work correctly. I have used on the few sites when they came up weird and I clicked the compatibility button beside the arrow at the end of address entry area and they worked like they used to in IE 7. It is an important feature now but in a few months you will probably rarely find sites not upgraded to IE8. I have checked pages on the sites I develop and maintain and have found they work ok in IE8.

Send me your questions about computers to me at the paper or to my e-mail dwight@dwightwatt.com and tell me you read this in the paper. I will pick a question to answer each week.

(c) 2009 by Dwight Watt
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