HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 11, Number 16
September 6, 2008
Spyware Doctor

In this issue:

Microsoft Releases (Public) Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Internet Explorer 8 At the end of August, Microsoft announced the release of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2.

While Beta 1 was for developers, Beta 2 is targeted at anyone who browses or works on the web.

According to Microsoft, they focused their work around three themes: everyday browsing, safety, and the platform.

IE8 Beta 2 includes several new features introduced since Beta 1, but only two of them haven't been openly discussed already, said James Pratt, a senior product manager in the IE development team.

"About 80% of the time, when people are on the Web, they're browsing to sites they've visited before," said Pratt, pointing to what Microsoft has dubbed IE8's "smart address bar."

To store this data Web browsers have long relied on an integrated database. With IE8 Microsoft changed that, and instead relies on its Windows Desktop search application, which is bundled with Windows Vista but is a separate download and installation for Windows XP users. Windows Desktop must be present in order to use the new smart address-bar functionality.

The other feature Pratt stressed in Beta 2 - search suggestions - was also held until Beta 2's release. "We've introduced a way to search more quickly," Pratt said, pointing to search bar, which now offers search-engine and Web site developers the possibility to add more functionality to searches. He demonstrated a search using Amazon.com Inc.'s engine in IE8 Beta 2 that provided not only item results from the online store, but also artwork, such as album-cover art for CDs, as well as prices.

Microsoft has offered more information on other IE8 Beta 2 additions and enhancements in recent weeks, including several advanced privacy tools, which some have tagged as "porn mode" in a nod to the most obvious use of a private browsing session.

Last month, Microsoft also talked extensively about new security measures it would introduce in IE8 Beta 2, including antimalware protection and a filter it said would block the most common cross-site scripting attacks.

If you like to try IE8 Beta2, I must strongly urge you to read the Release Notes first. There are several applications that will need updating or that will not work at all with Beta 2, so make sure you check before you install.

Operating System

IE8 will run on these operating systems:

  • Windows Vista x64 and x86
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) x64 and x86
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 x64 and x86
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) x64 and x86

You can download IE8 Beta 2 from Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8: Get It Now page, where you currently find English, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese versions.

Your Comments.

Windows Updates

Microsoft issued a number of updates for Windows Vista & Windows XP in the past weeks:

Windows Vista:

  • KB957055 - Update to resolve a known application compatibility issue when using Real Networks Real Player11 with a Beta version of Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Vista Service Pack 1.
  • KB951725 - Install this update for Microsoft Management Console snap-in context Help topics.
  • KB948473 - Update to resolve an issue in which WHQL test does not finish successfully on a system that is running Windows Vista with multiple display adapters in a Linked Display Adapter configuration.
  • KB953026 - Update to help resolve an issue where Dxgkrnl.sys may crash your windows-based operating system.
  • KB954708 - Update to enable XMP metadata with complex data types to be stored using Windows Imaging Component.

Windows XP:

  • KB954708 - Update to enable XMP metadata with complex data types to be stored using Windows Imaging Component.


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