Even though Microsoft already released the final standalone version of Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) in March, the company is continuing to add new functionality to the version of IE 8 that is bundled with Windows 7.

One of the new features not in the standalone build — but present in the version of IE 8 that is in the Windows 7 Release Candidate — is a new tab-responsiveness capability.

One of the selling points of IE 8 is tab isolation. Tab isolation means if one tab crashes, it doesn’t (necessarily) crash your whole browser.

The new tab-responsiveness feature in the IE 8 in the Windows 7 RC is designed to provide Microsoft end users with more feedback when a tab fails to open. Instead of whirring endlessly, leaving users wondering whether a Web site is down; not working with IE 8’s default standards mode; or what, a new tab dialog box is designed to pop up, allowing users to shut down proactively an unresponsive tab.

In a posting on the Microsoft IE Blog, officials explained the purpose of the new dialog box:

For the Win7 RC, we added functionality to IE8 that lowers the threshold for identifying delayed responsiveness that might be a hang. Basically, IE’s frame uses a timer, and if the tab doesn’t respond within a given interval of time, the frame gives the user the choice to recover the page, close the page, or wait for the tab to respond.

“A tab might become non-responsive like this for different reasons. The webpage in the tab might use a plug-in that is very busy pulling down a lot of video information from a slow server and then processing it. The webpage might be on an intranet (e.g. http://salarydata) and different authentication mechanisms are negotiating, slowly, what the user is allowed to see. Sometimes, it’s an issue with IE. Better telemetry here is crucial in figuring out what we, as engineers, do differently here.”

Source Microsoft IE Blog


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