Internet Explorer 8 - when should you install IE8
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Internet Explorer 8 - when should you install IE8?

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Internet Explorer 8 is now being rolled out through Windows Update. The big question is, should you install Internet Explorer 8, and if the answer is yes, the follow up question is when.

The short answer to the first question is yes, as many improvements and features have been made over previous versions. However, the "yes" is dependant upon the answer to the second question (when), and that is dependant upon what you use your computer for.

Internet Explorer 8 If you use your computer for not much else other than browsing websites and checking emails, then sure - go ahead. But as with any new release software, even if it has gone through a lengthy beta process, there will always be problems initially, with subsequent patches being released to fix reported bugs. It's like a new model car - even though extensive testing is undergone before the release, you can bet there will be bugs that become apparent only after the new model goes to market.

Microsoft say that you can easily revert back to IE7 if you do have conflicts, or it "breaks" other installed software, however the number of people who report frustration and an inability to do this smoothly would suggest all the bugs are not ironed out yet.

The thing to remember is that Internet Explorer is not just another piece of software - it is inextricably linked to the Windows operating system. Therefore, the chances of other software "breaking", or the operating system being affected in some way is a definite a possibility.

Basically, the more you rely on your computer for work (or life for that matter), the longer you should wait to install IE8. The longer you wait, the more bugs will be discovered and fixed.

If you must install Internet Explorer 8 now, then I highly recommend you make a disc image of your hard drive first - it is the only way to ensure your system will be returned to a pre-IE8 state in case you have problems. There are many brands of software which enable you to make perfect disc image backups, but the one I use and recommend is Acronis. For the money you spend, you only need to use it once, and the grief it will save you is immeasurable - and I speak from personal experience.

IE8 setup I'd also recommend you install Mozilla Firefox as a backup Internet browser, in case you haven't already, or even set it as your default browser. There are many reasons for this, but you can simply use Google to do some very quick research.

Speaking of default browsers, this brings me to another point. If you install Internet Explorer 8, be very careful of the options as you install, because in the setup routine setting the default browser is a little obfuscated. In other words, it may seem to some that Microsoft have done this on purpose to make IE8 your default browser, rather than (for example) Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, etc.

Anyway, simply Google "Internet Explorer 8 problems" and do some more research, then decide for yourself.

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