Those who expect Internet Explorer 8.0 to be a warmed-over version of IE7, or a me-too response to Firefox 3.0, will be surprised by the just-released Beta 2 of IE8. Update, January 27 2009: Internet Explorer 8.0 review.

Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 offers a well-thought-out set of features that makes web browsing faster and more intuitive, including more intelligent tabs, a much improved Address Bar, and new tools designed to deliver information from other web pages and services.

Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 has other new features as well, including those that improve privacy and security, and what some people have called "porn mode." The beta is still rough in some places, but for anyone interested in seeing the next big browser release, it's stable, useful and well worth the download.

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