Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8, I think!

I don't know about you, but this feels really weird. Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 with no fanfare at all. Not a press release in sight. I still can't believe I have Internet Explorer 8 installed on my computer.

Whilst I use most of the browsers for different things, Internet Explorer is my preferred browser for general browsing. It works and includes most of the things I need built-in. In general I find the features such as RSS to be better implemented than in other browsers.

One feature I felt was missing in Internet Explorer 8 is a built-in spellchecker. Initially I felt this was a considerable oversight, but now feel that perhaps Microsoft's is a better approach.

You can install spellchecking using an add-on. Visit for information on adding spellchecking to Internet Explorer. I do a lot of work creating the Australian English spellchecking dictionary and most of the spellchecking engines I've found to have limitations. Being able to swap in a different spellchecking engine in the future may actually end up providing users with a much better solution, whereas the other browsers lock themselves into the same spellchecking engine by hard coding it in.

The first thing I do when installing Internet Explorer is to visit the Fun with Search page. I then click on the link to set the search engine to Google with the default being pages from Australia.

During these tough economic times it makes sense to support Australian companies first. The size of overseas companies dwarf the presence of Australian companies on the internet. I see many people overseas complaining about sites such as Wikipedia making search results less useful by consuming many spots on the first page of Google search results. Setting pages to default from Australia fixes this type of problem for Australians whilst at the same time often provides more meaningful search results.

Grab a copy of Internet Explorer 8, install the Australian English spellchecking dictionary, set your search engine to default to pages from Australia, sit back, relax and surf the net.

Happy surfing.

- Kelvin