IE8 Beta 2 touted as a faster browser. But is it?

From a personal perspective, watching the time it takes for new tabs to load and then for the new pages to load in the tab, I’m a bit disappointed in the speed of IE8.  Even Maxthon, which uses the IE8 rendering engine is much faster opening new tabs and web pages.

My experience from testing Firefox 3.0 a while back, indicates that it is still the fastest browser available.  However, constant browser crashes and web site incompatibilities kept me from thinking seriously about using it long-term. 

So, that said, speed isn’t everything.  Still, the IE8 team needs to do a better job improving the speed and performance of IE8.

Still no speed dial for IE8, but the Favorites bar will have to do for now

In Maxthon, Firefox, Opera, and even using IE7Pro, there’s a feature I’ve come to rely on, the speed dial.

Speed dial is a configurable page where you can insert regularly visited web sites for easy access.  Here’s a view from Maxthon.

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You basically create visual representations of the web sites that you access most often, and clicking on the image whisks you away to the web site.

So far, there is no option or add-on for this functionality in IE8 (unless IE7Pro works with IE8 – I’m scared to try it).  But, the new easy-to-use Favorites bar in IE8 works kind of the same way.  So, I’m using that for now.  But, it would be nice to have this feature back in IE8.  Not a show-stopper by any means, just a personal favorite.

Hmmm…digging further into IE7Pro, it appears that IE8 Beta 1 is, at least, supported:

http://wiki.ie7pro.com/index.php/IE7Pro_Changelogs

I might have to give that a try later on.

What is a Web Slice?

A Web Slice is a specific portion of a webpage that you can subscribe to, and which enables you to see when updated content—such as the current temperature, or a changing auction price—is available from your favorite websites. Once you have subscribed to the Web Slice, it appears as a link on the Favorites bar. When the Web Slice is updated, the link on the Favorites bar will appear with bold formatting. You can then click the link to see the updated content.

Setting up a local weather IE8 web slice

The IE8 add-on directory offers a weather web-slice, but only for the Seattle, WA area.  So, how do you setup a web-slice for your local weather?

Jump out to Live.com Search and enter your city and the word “weather” (with quotes).  The result will look something like the following:

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When you hover over the weather component in the Live.com Search resulting page with your mouse cursor, you’ll notice that a green feed button appears.  Left-click on the green feed button and IE8 will ask if you want to subscribe to the new web-slice.

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Once the new weather component is installed, you’ll have a new IE8 toolbar button which you can click to view the current, local weather conditions.

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Neat!