Dean Hachamovitch, GM of the IE group, unveiled IE8 for the first time today at MIX08. There are lots of new features, but two really jumped out at me; Activities and WebSlices.
Activities lets a user highlight text on a Web page and click a button to use the highlighted words in various online services, like maps, product searches, weather, or other related web services.
WebSlices allow IE8 beta users to easily subscribe to portions of a page that update dynamically, allowing users to receive updates from that page as content changes.
For example, you could hover over a feed on a Facebook page, then a small WebSlices icon will appear. You click on the icon to subscribe to the feed.
Me.dium, a Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program company, released a special version to support the first public demonstration of IE8 today at MIX08.
“In less than a week developing on IE8, Me.dium has delivered some incredibly sticky and fun ways to stay connected with our users, while emphasizing new functionality delivered in IE8,” commented Kimbal Musk, Me.dium’s CEO. “We are excited and humbled with the trust that Microsoft has shown around IE8 development and look forward to providing even more functionality for IE users
The new Me.dium features were specifically designed to highlight the new functionality introduced in IE8, including Webslices and Activities.
Me.dium now helps surfers discover and view WebSlices directly from the sidebar. The Me.dium sidebar alerts users to the presence of WebSlices on any page – and even allows users to read each WebSlice, without leaving the Sidebar. In addition, Me.dium makes real-time recommendations for other WebSlices on other relevant web pages and provides direct links to them based on the real time activity of other
IE8 will also feature Web compatibility mode, or what is called Standards Mode.
The demos were awesome, as usual. You can see a web cast of the keynotes and demos here.