Microsoft (MS) this week officially launched the latest version of its iconic Web browser, Internet Explorer (IE) at its MIX 09 tech conference in Las Vegas.


Among IE 8’s new features: A private browsing option, to eliminate traces of your surfing activity on your system, and a new feature that lets you cache ‘slices’ of a Web site for quick quick reference.

Web developers are happy to see that IE 8 is more compliant with prevailing Web technology standards than previous versions. Developers have had to jump through flaming hoops to make sure that sites which display properly in other browsers also display acceptably in previous versions IE.

While other browser developers have recently been playing catch-me-if-you-can games revolving around the benchtest speeds of their browsers, MS seems to oprefer real-world comparisons, citing demonstrations that show IE8 displays many Web pages juist as fast as other browesers.

“In most cases the difference could literally be measured by a blink of an eye,” MS Senior Director Amy Barzdukas told CNet News.

MS also confirmed that IE 8 will be included in the Windows 7 package, due out later this year.

IE 8 will be available for download as of noon today, Eastern time. However insiders caution that it will be a while before Windows users who have Automatic Upodats installed will get the new version. That’s a lot of huge downloads to push out…

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