I have been ‘using’ IE 8 b2 for several days now. I like the potential that it has, but this particular release is not really ready for prime time. The biggest problem with the browser is compatibility. I feel bad for Microsoft-on the one hand, we have been banging away at them to provide a standards compliant browser, then ding them when they do. The problem is that in the previous beta, one could turn on a compatibility mode and render pages as if you were using IE 7. Well, they did away with that. Instead, you can render a specific page in compatibility mode. Unfortunately, it does not appear to work. There are other features worth looking at, including the private browsing mode and multiprocessing of tabs. Each tab is run as a separate process so that if something goes wrong, only that tab is affected and not the whole browser. That works very well and is also a major claim for Chrome. IE 8 also embodies a bunch of other changes that the user may or may not notice. Unfortunately, the crashes will get your attention. Also, there seems to be an issue with data execution prevention. I get DEP errors alot. If you don’t know what DEP is, that’s ok. It is just another mechanism the Microsoft has half baked into Windows since either XP or Windows 2000 was released. Apologies, I cannot remember which version started that and I don’t really care to look it up. Suffice it to say that it prevents certain types of code to execute—including legit code from Microsoft itself. Way to go there!
As it stands right now, skip this release and wait for a ‘shipping’ product to emerge.