Microsoft has taken Internet Explorer 8 out of beta and it’s rather “eh,” even though it is a big improvement over IE7.  I’m not sure why IE7 had such problems, but it really did.  What IE8 has going against it, however, is Microsoft’s decision to finally come around to web standards, which means that a lot of sites are getting broken.  Well, let me rephrase.  It’s not that IE8 is killing the sites, but rather, the sites look wrong unless you have them displayed in compatibility mode.  Based on my short time playing around and updating my website with it, I don’t think compatibility mode works quite right.  For example, my site looks fine to me using Firefox and Opera, but a little funny in IE8, even when compatibility mode has been enabled for it.

I’m really not certain what this means for browsing, but I guess sites are going to look a little funny for a while, until programmers figure out how to deal with IE8’s quirks.

IE8 doesn’t seem much faster than the previous generation (and indeed, when I tried one of its accelerator functions, a map took forever to load up).  But it doesn’t seem any slower, so speed seems to be a wash.

inPrivate mode seems to work okay, as it didn’t recall the sites I visited while in said mode.  I like the option to re-open tabs that it gives you when you close a tab, and then open a new blank tab.

All in all, I guess IE8 is fine, and better than its predecessor.  And it’s nice to see that Apple’s Safari got hacked and exploited in about 10 seconds, while it took hours to do the same to IE8 and Firefox.