IE8: A funnel for Microsoft’s crummy online services

As you may know, I run Ubuntu.  But I do have VirtualBox installed to test out various things (e.g. Live CDs) and right now I’m testing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (my father in-law wants to switch to Ubuntu, but still keep Windows around in case he needs it and virtualization is less hassle than dual-booting :)  Today I noticed, via Slashdot, that IE8 beta 1 is now available for download.  So I decided to test it out, which is when I noticed this little horror:

“Activity providers enhance your ability to work with text that you select on a webpage, enabling you to map addresses, define words, and more.”  The defaults are: “Blog with Windows Live Spaces, Map with Live Maps, Define with Encarta, Translate with Windows Live, Send with Windows Live Hotmail”

Ick.

If I might make some alternate suggestions (to anyone who doesn’t already know better yet ;)

Blog with WordPress; Map, Translate and Send with Google; Define with Wikipedia and Wiktionary.

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3 Responses to “IE8: A funnel for Microsoft’s crummy online services”

  1. Tronied Says:

    I was looking around for news on IE8 when I came across this. I am looking forward to IE8 actually. I like the way that you can right click over an address and get a popup map.

    My preferences would probably be:
    1) Blog (not bothered as I dont use it)
    2) Map = MS Live Maps. This is mainly down to its pinpoint precision and birdseye views, contrasting to Googles “its in this rough area” positioning with the tired old top-down approach. Street View gets an A for effort, but its lack of coverage, light smeered images and lack of zoom on most towns puts me off.
    3) Translate is irrelevant since they all seem to use SysTran for translation (Microsoft, Google and Babelfish), though MS’s interface is a bit nicer to use if I had to choose one.
    4) Define would be Wikipedia
    5) Send would be Yahoo mail.

    Any ideas when IE8 is released?

  2. Limulus Says:

    No idea; AFAIK, MS hasn’t released any info on that, though I imagine since they have a Beta1 out already that it shouldn’t be too long; half a year tops?

  3. Jim Says:

    Actually, one of the nice thing about Accelerators is the Preview feature. It allows you to select a section of text and then hover over the Accelerator of choice and it will expand a small, preview web page. Since the Google services don’t offer the stripped down HTML pages designed to work with the Preview feature, the deafult Microsoft Accelerators work better for Define, Map, and Translate.

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