Microsoft’s temporary monopoly on browsers didn’t teach it how to build a great one–even now that it is threatened by reinvigorated competition (MSFT). Uncle Walt Mossberg makes some positive noises about the latest version, IE8, but not enough to get him to abandon Firefox:
Walt Mossberg, WSJ: IE8 is more stable than IE7, more compatible with industrywide Web standards, and packed with new features that improve navigation, search, ease of use, privacy and security.
Some of these features can’t be matched out of the box by its main rival browsers. For instance, related tabs are colour-coded, the search field can show images along with text, you can get instant fly-out maps of place names in Web pages, and you can easily hide your tracks online from the prying eyes of advertisers.
But, in my tests, IE8 wasn’t as fast as Firefox, or two other notable browsers — the Windows version of Apple’s new Safari 4 and Google’s Chrome. IE8 loaded a variety of pages I tested more slowly than any of the other browsers, and it grew sluggish when juggling a large number of Web pages opened simultaneously in tabs.
For that reason, I can’t say that IE8 dethrones my previous browser champ, Firefox.
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