Next generation browsers: can IE catch up with Facebook?

MIT’s Technology Review recently carried a review of some of the new features trailed for Microsoft’s IE8 ,and for others in beta in Firefox. It looks like Microsoft are picking up on the trend for people to write their own add-on apps (in this case called Activities) which are well used in applications such as LinkedIn, Facebook and The review focusses on Activities, and doesn’t discuss other potential enhancements in 8. For example, says the review, Microsoft links a slew of Activities to its own email, blogging and news services. Of course, these pre-written Activities link to Microsoft’s own services (e.g. Hotmail) but the API is open, and anyone can write one and publish it.

Firefox 3 has been out in beta for a while now (anyone using it? Give us a comment on your experience). Its enhancements are in a different direction, enhancing bookmark management and providing a level of offline support. This might resonate in the enterprise, where the move from replicated collaborative services (such as Lotus Notes) to browser-based applications killed off the ability to easily take your application with you on your laptop.

Take a look!


Review: New Microsoft browser eases Web sharing, use of multiple services Technology Review, 19 Mar 2008
IE8 Beta on
Firefox 3 Beta 4 Release Notes from Mozilla, 10 Mar 2008, with links to download (in 40 languages)
Mozilla Developer News (look for links to the Firefox 3 programme)