Internet Explorer 8 Features And Their Firefox Equivalent

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 28, 2008
Updated • Sep 25, 2017

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 introduced several exciting new features to the upcoming Microsoft browser which hit the Internet by surprise. No one would have thought that Microsoft would add that much value to the second beta of Internet Explorer 8, the upcoming new version of Windows' default web browser.

The Internet Explorer 8 development team announced new features, and managed to increase the performance and security of the coming Microsoft flagship browser.

Firefox on the other hand will see an immense performance gain in version 3.1 when the Mozilla development team integrates the new JavaScript interpreter. Good times ahead when it comes to web browsers on Windows.

The following list concentrates on features of Internet Explorer 8 that have been introduced by Microsoft and their Firefox equivalent. This is usually a Firefox add-on that offers the same functionality as the hard-coded Microsoft feature. Only features that have not been in Firefox 3 by default have been added. Features like restoring tabs have are not included therefore.

Note: Many of the add-ons may not work anymore in recent versions of the Firefox web browser. Mozilla dropped legacy add-on support in Firefox 57, and the new add-on system WebExtensions does not support all functionality of it.

Find on Page

Microsoft highlights all hits and provides the number of found results next to the search box.

  • Find In Numbers - Integrates itself in the Find menu when it is popping up displaying the number of hits on a page for the search phrase. Firefox already comes with a Highlight All option in the Find bar.
  • HighlightAll - Not exactly the same functionality. It highlights all occurrences of a word that has been selected and displays the count in the status bar.

Address Bar

Incorporates auto suggestions, the history, bookmarks and feeds and presents them in a categorized view.

  • A user style is available that marks different results in a different colors.

Tab Groups

Internet Explorer 8 creates tab groups automatically when the user launches a new site in a new tab from an existing tab.

  • Tab Kit - provides the feature to group tabs by domain or parent tab. Adds several other interesting features to Firefox like multi-row tabs.
  • Group / Sort Tabs - a lightweight alternative to Tab Kit with less functionality.

Enhanced Search

Internet Explorer 8 displays enhanced search results including images using auto suggestions in the search box.

  • Firefox is making use of Google Suggest to provide search suggestions in the search box.
  • There is no option to combine text and image results.


Accelerators are add-ons for Internet Explorer 8 that make it possible to use other web services without leaving the site, e.g looking up an address on Google Maps.

  • Ubiquity (discontinued) - This Firefox 3 prototype extension uses a different method of making other web services accessible on the current website but it can provide the same functionality, e.g. looking up addresses on Google Maps.
  • IE8 Activities for Firefox - A Firefox extension that replicates IE8 Accelerators exactly. It even supports those offered for Internet Explorer

Web Slices

Web Slices are information that can be put into a toolbar and automatically update themselves, think about weather information, eBay searches, Amazon items.

  • Webchunks - It completely replicates the Internet Explorer feature.

InPrivate Browsing

When the user activates InPrivate Browsing history, temporary files and cookies are not stored on the user's computer.

  • Stealther - Can disable the following on activation: - Browsing History (also in Address bar), Cookies, Downloaded Files History, Disk Cache, Saved Form Information, Sending of ReferrerHeader, Recently Closed Tabs list

InPrivate Blocking

Can block third party content that tracks and aggregates online behavior.

  • Adblock Plus - Can disable advertisement and cookies that track the user.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) filter

Internet Explorer 8 makes use of a Cross-Site Scripting filter that can detect Type-1 XSS attacks.

  • NoScript - Can Protect against any kind of script on the Internet including cross-site scripting attacks.

Did I miss an extension that does a better job? Let me know.

Internet Explorer 8 Features And Their Firefox Equivalent
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Internet Explorer 8 Features And Their Firefox Equivalent
The article compares features of Microsoft's upcoming web browser Internet Explorer with features of Mozilla's Firefox web browser.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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