Windows only: Microsoft has released the first public beta of Internet Explorer 8 for download by willing testers, which debuted this week at the Mix conference in Las Vegas. Intended for developers and designers only, IE8's most intriguing new feature so far is "Web Slices," which lets you monitor a single section of a web page, like an eBay auction (similar to Leopard's Web Clips.) Web developers will be excited about better standards compliance.
I'm just downloading and installing IE8 myself, so no word yet on anything else exciting (perhaps better tab support, MS? Pretty please?) Check out some setup screens, including a Firefox settings import wizard that detects your 'fox extensions, after the jump.
The IE8 Beta 1 installation requires an entire system restart, which is a big pain in the buttocks. Once that's done, a setup wizard launches with some interesting settings:
Smart of the setup wizard to detect Firefox and its settings. I don't have Opera or Safari installed on this PC; I wonder if it goes as far as to detect those.
The mention of Firefox extensions is exciting! Wouldn't it be nice if Firefox extensions worked in IE8? (Yes, I like to dream.)
Interestingly, that "Go online to view similar IE add-ons" button only found one match for my ten extensions—a version of Greasemonkey for IE. I'm still in the midst of exploring IE8, and deciding whether Activities is a worthwhile, uh, activity. You try it? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
The IE8 Beta 1 is a free download, but only go there if you're willing to deal with wonkiness—it is only the first beta. Also, the installation requires a system restart—ugh! Update: here's another good rundown of Web Slices and another new feature called "Activities".