I did a quick test of ie8 beta 2.
I was hoping that microsoft had learnt something from their ie7 mistakes.
My biggest gripe with ie7 is that the most used buttons (back, forward, refresh, stop, home) are scattered around the window, instead of being grouped together (like in ie6 and other mainstream browsers).
Well, guess what:
ie8 looks almost identical to ie7.
It looks (to me) like Microsoft are just not doing good usability testing. So they are not delivering something that customers find convenient to use.
Instead, it seems like they have taken a “we know whats best for you” attitude (which is also evident in their Vista / Windows 7 user interface).
I’ll be trying it out some more over the next few weeks, but so far, I’m not impressed with the update.
To me, the upcoming update from ie7 to ie8 has a very strong resemblance to the upcoming update from vista to windows 7.
Neither warrant the change in version numbers.
For me, windows 7 should be called vista 1.1
and ie8 should be called ie7.1
And another annoying aspect of ie8 is the multiple favorites.
- There is a favorites menu in the menu bar
- There is a favorites toolbar… you can try to disable it under view -> toolbars -> favorites bar… but that just shrinks the bar to just a favorites button, which is then placed to the left of the tab bar.
On a positive note, ie8 is more standards compliant than prior MS browsers (about time)
ie8 also includes “accelerators”.
After figuring out what accelerators do, I reckon its a crap name. Its like buying a “microsoft” car, where accelerators are the headlights, radio, indicator stalk, etc
So whats an accelerator?
You can highlight some text on a web page, and then send it to an accelerator “plugin” (eg google search, blogger blog, etc).
Accelerators sound kinda cool, but at this stage, they seem more complicated than they need to be (eg: I can’t see the need for different “sub” categories).
Of course I reckon the most useful accelerator, would be to highlight a url, so that you can then open it in another tab (without the hassle of using copy/paste). Of course this type of accelerator doesn’t exist (yet), even though its been a standard part of Maxthon for years.
Whats amazing about accelerators, is the standard list of accelerators, which includes, google maps, yahoo maps, and various other services from Microsofts “competitors”. Its highly unusual for MS to acknowledge a competitor in their products (unless forced to do so). Is this is the start of a “nicer”, more open, microsoft?
My summary: Microsoft ie8 is still playing catchup on all the other browsers out there.
I’d say the IE family of browsers (including IE8 ) will continue to lose market share, until MS realises that just copying some features of other browsers just doesn’t cut it. Microsoft need to truly innovate (if they know how).