IE8: Achilles Heel of Windows 7 Beta

What's most interesting to me about the Windows 7 public beta is what kinds of applications or technologies struggle to work with the new OS. My observations from my own daily use of Windows 7 are that there are three problem areas I regularly experience: video driver, printing and Internet Explorer 8.

The most unstable application I've experienced by far is IE8. IE8 frequently locks up, crashes and then restarts. This can happen several times in a short period of time. Now to be fair, IE8 is beta software and it's running in a beta Windows OS, but it's not like Microsoft didn't know IE8 and Windows 7 betas would be out in parallel.

Another thing to note is the version of IE8 that comes with Windows 7 is different than the public IE8 beta 2 you can download from Microsoft' site. It would be interesting to know why Windows 7 requires it's own version. I would assume that's at least partly due to Microsoft more thoroughly testing and fixing IE8 to run in Windows 7. But given the browser crashes, that may not prove to be true.

If IE8 will stay up for a reasonable period of time, the Windows 7 beta is actually very usable. Given the reliance on Internet browsing and apps delivered via the browser, IE8 crashes are more than a significant annoyance. Maybe IE8 should take a cue from Windows 7 by dropping a few pounds, simplifying and focus on being more stable. 

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