Matt Farrington-Smith
13/12/2010 11:25 | By Matt Farrington Smith, editor, MSN Windows Live

What is Internet Explorer 8?

Discover what is new in Windows Internet Explorer 8 and why you'd be silly not to download it.

Windows Internet Explorer 8

With all the shopping we do online, particulary at this time of year, it's good to know Internet Explorer 8 can help keep us safe and more secure.

It's packed with a plethora of cool features like InPrivate Browsing and SmartScreen to ensure that the only nasty surprise this festive season will be that terrible knitted jumper from Aunty Mabel.

Web Slices are just one of the new features in IE8

Get a slice of the action

Is your Favourites list as long as your arm? As part of our daily web browsing, most of us visit many different sites, and this can be time consuming. So many websites, so little time!

What if there was a way to view all of the cool bits in one go?

Well consider IE8 your fairy godmother, as Web Slices brings it all to you. Web Slices allow you to subscribe to portions of your favourite websites.

With a single click, you can view and interact with the latest updates on those sites you have earmarked, without leaving your current page; catch-up with the latest headlines, check the status of an online auction, view status updates from your social network, or keep tabs on the latest football scores. It will constantly alert you of new content by changing colour or going bold.

Download Internet Explorer 8 now: FREE

Internet Explorer 8's Bing maps function in action


What is an Accelerator? The clue is in the name, Accelerators make it faster and easier to connect to a host of popular web services.

Accelerators are built into IE8, so if you're going out later and need to look up an address, using a price comparison site to shop around, or need language translation services on the fly - you can get going from the off. Each of these tasks are time consuming and require numerous steps from start to finish.

Use Accelerators to let you preview online services just by pointing your mouse at them. Search, map, e-mail, translate, or share content from any web page you're currently viewing.

Internet Explorer 8 comes specially preinstalled with Accelerators from Bing and MSN Video. Plus you can choose to blog with Windows Live, share across Messenger, research and shop with Ciao, or translate with the Microsoft Translator.

New downloads and Accelerators will be readily available from the Internet Explorer Gallery, so be sure to save this to your Favourites.

Handy fact: In user tests, Accelerators and Web Slices saved users 10s of seconds performing common tasks.

Download Internet Explorer 8 now: FREE

Internet Explorer 8 comes with InPrivate Browsing and filters


InPrivate Filters and Browsing are a series of security measures designed to make your browsing session safer and keep your data more secure.

Whenever your surf the web some of the information about your visit is automatically sent to the website provider. Filtering helps you control this information and choose which providers (if any) receive information about the places you visit.

This is especially handy if you are using a computer in a public place (Internet Cafe or maybe the library), are concerned about your security and want peace of mind should your computer ever get stolen, or maybe you are booking a secret getaway for your partner and don't want to leave clues!

How to enable InPrivate Browsing with Windows Internet Explorer 8

IE8 gives you two options; automatic filtering or manual where you can specify websites yourself, both can be toggled on/off with just a few clicks.

InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session.

This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data. Toolbars and extensions are disabled by default.

Compatibility mode

Upgrading to Internet Explorer 8? There's no need to worry about the perils of backwards compatibility, if a webpage looks broken - here is how to fix it!

Compatibility View lets you view websites designed for older browsers. To fix misaligned text or images, click the Compatibility View button to the right of the address bar.

Download Internet Explorer 8 now: FREE

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