That's right, not to be outdone by the release of Firefox Beta 3 last month Microsoft has let loose Beta 1 of Internet Explorer 8. It will be vary familiar if you currently use IE7, though it adds some new features into the mix as well. 'Activities' aim to give you quick access to web services which you may have to copy and paste data to use normally. By using the activity menu you can for example, easily bring up a map of a location written on a web page, or blog about a portion of an article. 'Webslices' are another new feature, which work in a similar way to web feeds, but display content you may have subscribed to in a small window attached to your favourites bar so you don't have to navigate to the site. The favourites bar, which was called the links bar in IE7 gets a general makeover and other features include automatic crash recovery and an improved phishing filter. Nothing revolutionary then really, but it is good to know competition is keeping IE developers on their toes. You can find dowloads of IE8 Beta 1 for various operating systems, as well as more information by clicking the read link.