What's new with Internet Explorer 8?

Internet Explorer 8 Extra Features

If a Web site looks weird in IE 8, you can use Compatibility View to look at it as if you were using IE 7.
If a Web site looks weird in IE 8, you can use Compatibility View to look at it as if you were using IE 7.
© HowStuffWorks

Internet Explorer 8 includes some new functions designed to make browsing easier and more intuitive. These include features Microsoft calls Accelerators, Suggested Sites and Web Slices.

Accelerators are features that allow you to make better use of information from the text on a Web site. Microsoft designed these features to eliminate the necessity of copying text from one page and pasting it into another. Let's say you read an article and want to blog about it using a Windows Live Spaces account. Using IE 8, you could highlight the section that interests you, click your mouse's right button and select Blog with Windows Live Spaces from the menu. Internet Explorer 8 will take you to your blog and automatically insert the highlighted text into your edit field. You can also use Accelerators to find directions to a location, search for an item on eBay and define a term using Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia.

Suggested Sites is another opt-in feature. If you choose to activate it, Internet Explorer 8 will examine your browsing history and suggest Web sites similar to the ones you visit regularly. It doesn't pull information from any sites you've deleted from your browser history or visited while using the InPrivate mode.

Web Slices let you subscribe to specific blocks of content on Web pages. You can use Web Slices to keep you informed of new e-mail messages, weather reports, eBay auctions and news services. Webmasters have the option to build out Web Slices on their pages by adding some code on the back end. In a way, this turns the IE 8 browser into a portal -- you can pull information from multiple Web sites into a unified view.

If you use Web Slices to subscribe to a page, the information from that page becomes available in a toolbar Microsoft calls the Favorites bar. The Favorites bar helps you organize your favorite sites -- it's essentially a bookmarks manager. But the Favorites bar can also keep track of documents you create in Microsoft Office products like Word and Excel, turning your browser into a more general organization application.

These are just some of the updates you can expect from the new Internet Explorer. Microsoft may incorporate more changes before releasing the final build. To learn more about Web browsers, take a look at the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links


  • Hachamovitch, Dean. General Manager, Internet Explorer. Personal interview. Jan. 8, 2009.
  • Microsoft. "Automatic Crash Recovery: Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 for Developers." March 2008. http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ProjectName= ie8whitepapers&ReleaseId=582
  • Microsoft. "IEBlog." http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/default.aspx
  • Microsoft. "Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit." (Jan. 22, 2009) http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/readiness/new-features.aspx#favbar
  • Microsoft. "Internet Explorer 8: Home page." (Jan. 22, 2009) http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/default.aspx