In browser news, we’ve recently seen the release of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, as well as the surprising (for me anyway) Google Chrome.
First, IE8B2. I’ve been playing with the new beta on and off over the last couple of days, and I can honestly say it’s actually pretty good. I would say that this release has more right to call itself a beta than its predecessor. I’d always felt that Beta 1 was of “Alpha” quality at best, if not “Technology Preview” standards. There’s still a-ways to go, and I won’t be changing my default browser to IE any time soon, but I believe that IE8 can only do good in this world. (Please don’t prove me wrong, Microsoft!)
Now, the infamous GBrowser has been predicted for years, but finally, and without warning, it’s here. Google Chrome for Windows (with the Mac version on the way) was announced via Scott McCloud comic yesterday. I downloaded it this morning, had a bit of a play and found it to be pretty damn good for a first release. It reacts very swiftly, although Firefox is also pretty quick in vanilla, no-addons mode. The interface is nice and simple, certainly better than IE7+, although it could do with a Firefox-like extensions/add-ons API. In fact, that’s about all that’s stopping me from switching right now. There are just too many awesome add-ons for Firefox that I can not do without. The Webkit rendering engine, which admittedly I’m not too familiar with, is quite good although I’ve come across the odd weird CSS glitch when viewing some my sites, but I think it’s more due to my inexperience with Webkit’s intricacies.