If you’re not participating in the Windows 7 beta, you can still kick the tires of Microsoft’s newest web browser. Internet Explorer 8, which is included in Windows 7, can be had for XP, Vista or Windows Server as well. Actually, the beta version came out last year, but the software has now graduated to the RC, or Release Candidate stage.
Microsoft appears to be straddling the fine line between simplicity and feature fullness with IE8. The browser does offer more customization and add-ons than prior, but not exactly like Firefox does with the vast array of extensions it has available. Microsoft took a customization approach with “accelerators” and “web slices”; these are definitely useful, but still limited by comparison. That could change over time, but for now it’s pretty slim pickins. I do see some useful accelerators: one for Facebook, a StumbleUpon add-on and even one for Digg. The catalog is available at http://www.ieaddons.com if you want to browse it or add features to IE8.
Want to grab the new browser? You can grab it directly from Microsoft to give it a spin.