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Microsoft unveils IE8's new features

'Activities' lets you install apps that allow info to be swiftly transferred into and out of webpages

Microsoft has released a feature list for Internet Explorer 8, although one of its big-ticket improvements is actually just a minor tweak to the links bar.

With Internet Explorer 7 proving to be a vast improvement on previous incarnations, Microsoft is keen to keep the momentum going as it continues to battle against the likes of Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari.

However, the new ‘favourites bar’ is pretty much a retread of the current links bar. The only noteworthy addition is the inclusion of an ‘Add to Favourites bar’ option, rather than the current Add to Favourites > links process.

ACR and anti-phishing

'Automatic crash recovery', inevitably given a Microsoft acronym of ACR, will be welcomed, much more so than improvements to the anti-phishing filter.

'Webslices' appears to be an RSS/Vista gadget hybrid that allows users to have streamed information in their Favourites bar and updates to changes on their favourite websites.

Last but not least, 'Activities’ seemingly allows people to install third-party and Microsoft apps that allow the swift transfer of information into and out of webpages. The example given is a Live Maps search on a postcode that places the map in a popup.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft can keep its dominance in the browser wars, but Beta 1 of IE8 is already available for your perusal.