IE8 Beta 2 “just around the corner” with new features

Microsoft has revealed that the second beta of Internet Explorer 8 “is right around the corner”, whilst detailing a series of new features.

IE8 Beta 2

The company claims it’s made several improvements to the browser’s reliability for Beta 2, including enhancements to a feature called Loosely-Coupled IE (LCIE), which separates different parts of the browser to make IE8 more stable in the event of one part crashing.

With LCIE frames and tabs are each given their own process, so that a crash in one won’t bring the entire browser to its knees.

“It turns out that the vast majority of all IE sessions contain three or fewer tabs,” the company claims on the official IE blog. “Accordingly, in Beta 2 we try to give users three efficient tab processes. This is contingent on the user’s computer capabilities, but the more capable a computer is, the more processes we will use, up to a point.

“Adding more processes gives users much better isolation in the event of a failure. If each tab is in its own process, websites are completely isolated from each other.”

LCIE underpins the new Automatic Crash Recovery feature, which returns you to the sites you were visiting should the browser crash. Firefox has offered a similar feature since Firefox 2, but Microsoft claims to be going a step further by recovering data that has been typed into web forms. “If you typed information, such as an email, blog post, comments, into an HTML form, we can now recover that information,” the blog claims.

Beta tester appeal

Despite the claimed improvements to reliability, Microsoft is appealing for more beta testers to come forward to help the company with its bug squashing.

“Currently the only way to directly file a bug with the IE Team is to be a part of the IE8 Technical Beta program on Microsoft Connect,” the blog post reads. “Beta 2 is right around the corner and we are expanding our reach! If you wish to be a part of making IE better by contributing great bug reports then please email us at [email protected] and tell us a little about yourself including why you’d be a great beta tester.”

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