Favorite Add-Ons for InternetExplorer8  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

When you think of browser extensions, you probably think of Firefox, and Firefox fans have long touted the browser's ever-expanding catalog of extensions as a reason to switch from Internet Explorer. Handy Firefox add-ons like Morning Coffee and AdBlock Plus make for a more pleasant browsing experience.

Of course, Internet Explorer has a catalog of third-party add-ons as well, and one of the most visible changes in Internet Explorer 8 is the browser's new approach to extensions and add-ons. IE8 users will be exposed to new terms like "Web slice" and "accelerator" and will notice a further shift away from the Firefox extension model.

In fact, you may have to shift the way you think about browsing altogether. The new IE8 add-ons put an incredible amount of resources within one or two clicks of the Web page you're on. For instance, instead of opening a new tab to look up an unfamiliar term on Wikipedia or Google, just highlight the term and click on the Wikipedia or Google accelerator for a quick definition. And as an alternative to visiting Digg five times a day, bring Digg updates to your Favorites bar with the Digg Web slice. IE8 makes these one-click actions easy to set up and use.

There's simply a difference in strategy for the different browsers, according to Joshua Allen, Microsoft's Internet Explorer "evangelist." Allen said that the emphasis for Internet Explorer is to offer a seamless Web experience for Windows, since IE is essentially a Windows feature. Obviously, it isn't the overarching goal of Firefox to make the Windows experience better, and Allen says Microsoft's different approach to add-ons reflects that difference in philosophy.

"From our point of view, it's simple: People spend much of their day visiting their favorite sites and searching, and we want to make those activities kick ass on Windows," said Allen in an e-mail. "These are two of the most common activities people do on Windows. We make 'favorite sites' better via accelerators and Web slices, and we make search better through visual search…."

As Allen explained, IE8 add-ons come in several flavors:

Accelerators perform actions on highlighted text and URLs. For instance, highlight a word to look it up in an acronym dictionary or Wikipedia; highlight a URL for a pop-up preview of the Web page; highlight a movie to find it in the Netflix catalog.

Add-a-Web SliceWeb slices automatically check your favorite Web pages or pieces of Web pages for updates and notify you of new stuff in your Favorites bar. The Digg Web slice keeps track of top stories for you; the Live Search Weather Web slice keeps tabs on your local weather forecast. To add either of these Web slices, simply go to an enabled Web page and click on the green Web slice button in your IE8 tool bar (shown above).

Visual Search presents you with visual search suggestions from different Web services, using the search bar. Search for "iPod" and the Amazon Search Suggestions tool will present you with images of different iPods for sale on Amazon, while the Wikipedia Visual Search offers previews of Wikipedia entries.

In addition to these new types of add-ons, there's still the classic Firefox-type extension, though it isn't as much of a priority for Microsoft, according to Allen. (full Story)

This entry was posted on Feb 4, 2009 at 6:10 AM and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 comments

These features are extremely useful and will surely make browsing the web faster and easier. Check out both of these features in action!

Web Accelerators:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pmw4nJBJ0s

Web Slices:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqXR79P_Uzo

February 4, 2009 at 4:23 PM

thanks for sharing knowledge...

February 5, 2009 at 3:15 AM

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