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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

© 2014 Mike Borozdin

Thoughts on Internet Explorer 8 Usability

Well, Internet Explorer 8 is in the beta phase only, so it may be to early to judge it and make any conclusion. Anyway, I have some thoughts I want to share.

I’ve been a long time Firefox user, even though I cannot say anything bad about IE, unlike some other people who always tend to whine about it, I was just used to Firefox, anyway, I decided to try IE 8 Beta 1 and now I’m using Beta 2. It looked very promising to me. It passed the Acid2 Test, it has the Developers Tools and a built-in JavaScript debugger. So, Microsoft intends to release a more developer oriented browser that may surprise many web developers who have a bad opinion about Microsoft as a company that produced a very crappy browser and simply don’t care much about web standards and web at all. It’s not right, of course.

Anyway, this time I’m going to talk about features that are oriented not only for developers but for everybody. And Internet Explorer 8 has something to offer, starting from Web Slices, Accelerators that allow you to get content without loading a new page, for instance, you can easily look up a word in a dictionary or find a place on the map

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and InPrivate browsing. But I as a Firefox user was surprised that IE lacked some essential features, at least I got used to them when using Firefox. For example, I cannot simply copy an e-mail address, in Firefox I would right-click on the e-mail and choose “Copy Email Address”, in IE8 I can only copy the full address beginning with “mailto:”. Then, I cannot just copy the URL of a picture,

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instead I have to go to “Properties”, select its address and then copy.

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Brrr… That’s nasty. I believe there are some other things that drive me crazy, but at the moment I can’t remember them .

Yep, I have just remembered yet another glitch, middle-click that should open a page in a new tab doesn’t work when I open page from the favourites menu…

Moreover, there are the developer tools, a JavaScript debugger, a goo d source viewer, but there’s no shortcut for source viewing, in Firefox I would simply press CTRL+U, in IE I’m constantly hitting the same combination and realize that I have to right-click and choose “View source”.

Well, these things are just minors glitches, but I think these minor things are very important. If one is used to the same set of convenient features in one browser, then it’s a good idea to implement them in another. I hope, the final version of Internet Explorer 8 will have great usability and it will a really great browser that everyone will enjoy :-)!

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Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2009
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