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Internet Explorer 8

Like many people, I recently “upgraded” my version of Internet Explorer to 8.0. Right away, a few things struck me. The user interface has changed… again. I’m all for redesigns (or “realigns”) but Microsoft seems to reorganize their UI so often, it’s almost hard to keep track.

Already, there’s talk of a release of IE8.1 with a super-secret code name “Eagle Eyes.” Version 8 is another step in the right direction for Microsoft. And, if everything in Smashing Magazine’s report is true, 8.1 will be even better.

Interesting to me is IE’s support for Firefox add-ons. The MSIE team had to know they were losing market share due the flexibility and extendability of Firefox. Including similar functionality in their next release is a no-brainer. But I don’t think the plugins will win back any users for IE. It sure make life easier for developers whose whole existences have come to depend on Firebug and the Web Developer Toobar.

I’m anxious to see how IE8 and 8.1 will hold up in the CSS realm. They have excellent Javascript engines, but that’s nothing new for IE. The word on the street is that 8.1 performs very well on the Acid 3 test. Not well enough for my money. I know, I know. Firefox 3 only scores a 71 / 100. But still.. IE has been so far behind the curve for SO LONG that if they want to make ammends with the CSS world, a perfect 100/100 has got to be the standard. I’m not holding my breath.