Last week Microsoft released IE8 Beta2, the faster, easier and safer successor of the existing Internet Explorer. As there are a lot of changes (new default settings, new support for standards, new features), it's definitely woth to try and test IE8. It's probably a good idea to start testing the own (internal) web applications as well.

Internet Explorer 8 Home Page: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/default.aspx
Internet Explorer 8 on Technet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/default.aspx
Internet Explorer 8 on MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/default.aspx
Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/readiness/developers.aspx

  1. InPrivate Browsing – When activated, InPrivate Browsing gives users the option of keeping their browsing history private on shared computers such as in the home, Internet café or public kiosk.  InPrivate is an opt-in feature, which must be turned on for each browsing session. It works by deleting history data that is accumulated while browsing the web (e.g., temporary internet files, web address history, cookies), at the end of each browsing session.  Scenarios include shopping for a spouse's birthday gift on a home machine , or doing online banking from a public kiosk.
  2. InPrivate Blocking – InPrivate Blocking helps protect privacy by offering the user choices in how they block content from third-party websites - particularly those that track and aggregate online behavior.  Examples of third party content on websites may include maps, stock tickers and advertisements.  InPrivate Blocking gives users notice, choice and control over this content by providing them with the ability to choose which third party content to block and which to allow.  
  3. Implementation of Internet Standards - Consistent with Microsoft's efforts to promote interoperability on the Web, IE 8 beta 2 is standards-compliant by default.  Giving top priority to Web standards interoperability allows us to help web developers and designers drive toward the ideal of “write once, run anywhere” - freeing up more time to innovate rather than modify content for different browsers.  This means, however, that browsing with this default setting may cause website content written for previous versions of Internet Explorer to display differently than intended.  To help with this issue, the browser also includes a Compatibility View button that displays those pages as they were designed to be viewed. To help with this issue, the Internet Explorer 8 browser also includes a Compatibility View button that displays those pages as they were designed to be viewed. Click here to learn more about the Compatibility View button.  
  4. SmartScreen Filter – A security enhancement innovation, SmartScreen Filter builds on the success of Microsoft Phishing Filter in IE7, which helps protect users against phishing sites by warning them before they access websites that Microsoft knows to be problematic or display suspicious characteristics.  SmartScreen Filter expands this protection against a broader set of phishing threats and adds protection from some websites that attempt to download malicious software.   To warn users against a wider array of problematic websites, SmartScreen Filter now collects additional information from the user, but none of it is used to identify, contact or advertise to the customer. 

Urs