Internet Explorer 8 becomes available at noon, but don’t go ditching your current browser just yet, writes Walter S. Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft's latest is "a big improvement over its predecessor, IE7, and a much closer competitor to its main rival, Mozilla's Firefox"—but slower than Firefox, Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari, Mossberg cautions.
IE8 has some features its rivals can’t match. Automatic color-coding of related tabs, a search field that shows images and text, and improved ability to elude advertisers’ prying eyes are improvements, as is the ability to quickly change search engines without retyping your entry. But "IE8 loaded a variety of pages I tested more slowly than any of the other browsers, and it grew sluggish when juggling a large number of Web pages opened simultaneously in tabs," Mossberg writes.