IE8's interface has gone through very little modifications in regards to the previous version, except for the changes needed to introduce the following new features:
Accelerators. To facilitate integration with the services that Windows Live offers, Microsoft has included in Internet Explorer 8's menu bar a series of direct access links to web apps such as Windows Live blog, email, and Live Search translate, although you can also add accelerators for other third party services, such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, etc.
Visual Search. The search box on the URL bar has been revamped: the icons of the available search engines are shown in the lower part, search suggestions are offered while you type, and results are accompanied by a small image that relates to the search.
Web Slices. A system similar to widgets from Windows Vista or Yahoo! Widgets Engine that allows you to find out updated information on specific topics found on a specific website without having to visit it. For example, you can independently follow an eBay product's auction. That being said, it seems that the developers are the ones that have to adapt their websites to this system.
Other interesting features that Internet Explorer 8 includes are the following:
- Intelligent address bar that indicates suspicious domains and suggests websites found in your favorites, history, and feeds.
- A 'compatibility view' that allows you to view a website with the IE7 engine in case it doesn't display correctly on IE8.
- Private browsing with 'InPrivate,' which doesn't store your browsing history or cookies.
- Recovery of browsing session and last tab closed.
- Text search on a webpage has been improved, and stability has been increased, keeping a tab that isn't working properly from affecting the rest of the browser.
- Zoom function that respects where elements are located on the webpage.
- Tab system that includes a mini preview of all the tabs that are open, and grouping of tabs by color in regards to the domain they belong to.
Internet Explorer 8 is available for Windows XP SP2 and SP3; Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP 1; Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows Server 2008, although in the private area you will find the area for Windows Vista.