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Things You Need to Know: Pros and Cons of Internet Explorer 8

written by: •edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 1/17/2011

Want to gain some basic information about Internet Explorer 8? Read all about IE8 here, and learn the pros and cons of Internet Explorer 8.

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    Pros of IE8

    Speed

    IE8 seems to be noticeably faster than IE7, which users will welcome. The actual speed difference may be in milliseconds, but the faster downloading could help Microsoft win back some customers.

    Updated Content

    An RSS feed on your favorites bar will indicate to you any updated content on sites that you have listed as favorites. This information shows up as a green icon in the upper right hand corner, which alerts you to this update so that you can access it immediately.

    Similar Sites

    IE8 will suggest to you five similar sites to the ones you are currently viewing. This will enable you to find more information quite easily if the site you are on does not give you enough details.

    Integration

    Internet Explorer 8 integrates with other Microsoft applications like Outlook Web Access and can show presence. This is a big plus in company environments where a number of persons are online at the same time.

    Stability

    If one window in a tabbed environment crashes, the other tabs do not crash simultaneously, and this is a big plus point. Internet Explorer has been able to open a window with tabs in their previous versions as well, but this new ability to contain the crashing of any one site is a new feature.

    Compatibility

    IE8 has become more compliant to web standards than its previous versions. It has a compatibility button which you can press if sites that have lower web standards do not display properly. This then enables the browser to open the site in the more compatible, lower version.

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    Cons of IE8

    Similar Sites

    Internet Explorer 8 does indicate to you up to five sites that are similar to the one that you have opened. But, this is restricted to the better known sites which have better page rankings. However, a user is generally already aware of such sites. This additional list can only be of help if the sites listed are some of the more unfamiliar ones that are not so frequently visited. This would broaden the web experience.

    Memory Requirements

    IE8 recommends a minimum of between 64 MB and 512 MB of memory. However, this seems inadequate and is better served with a memory of at least 2 GB. This would mean that home users and small business users may be forced to go in for costly upgrades if they are not to find the performance of IE8 disappointing.

    Page Display of Sites

    Sites that have still not complied with the latest web standards may not display easily or correctly in IE8. The compatibility button does not easily open all such sites, and you may be forced to wait for the upgrade of the site itself before you can view it properly.

    Microsoft Playing Catch Up

    IE8 really seems like an effort by Microsoft to catch up with other browsers like Firefox but no real attempt at anything new. So, whether this will help Microsoft retain its market share is something the market has to decide.

    Heavy to Load

    Internet Explorer 8 is quite heavy to load, and smaller home users may have to watch their hard drives before they can decide on an upgrade to IE8.

    These were some of the pros and cons of Internet Explorer 8. If you think I missed anything, please let me know using the comments section.

Troubleshooting IE - More on Internet Explorer Problems

This series is a follow up to How to Repair Internet Explorer 8 When it Hangs. It includes articles containing general information on Internet Explorer and troubleshooting IE for certain problems.
  1. Troubleshooting and Reinstalling Internet Explorer in Windows XP
  2. When Internet Explorer Will Not Open - Troubleshooting the Problem
  3. Troubleshooting When Internet Explorer Freezes
  4. Internet Explorer - How to Enable Cookies?
  5. Things You Need to Know: Pros and Cons of Internet Explorer 8