Microsoft Announces Internet SafariFox Beta 2
It’s taken nearly a decade but Microsoft has finally debuted the first significant overhaul of its Web browser since Internet Explorer 5. The company released IE8 Beta 2 Wednesday afternoon, and by most accounts, it’s a solid update. In fact, it might even put IE on par with competing browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari. Certainly, this latest iteration, with its new privacy and security features, adherence to Web standards, enhanced tabbed browsing and “smart address bar” (a location bar similar to Firefox 3’s “Awesome Bar”), proves that Microsoft (MSFT) has at least caught up with its rivals in the browser space. “This is a top-to-bottom makeover,” says Ed Bott. “It’s packed with usability improvements, security enhancements, and a platform for new add-ins that third-party developers are already taking advantage of.” Which is a good thing, because IE’s increasingly stale feature set has caused a bit of decline in the browser’s market share. In the last year IE lost six percentage points of market share, falling to 73 percent, while Firefox’s market share rose to 19 percent.