Friday, June 10, 2005

Tabbed Browsing in Internet Explorer with MSN Toolbar

Most people are porbably still using Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) and have not enjoyed the advantage of tabbed browsing or other advances in browsers recently. Faster page loads and tabbed browsing are two reasons why I prefer Firefox over MSIE. This week, however, Microsoft added tabbed browsing via a toolbar add-on.

The MSN Toolbar extends MSIE with tabbed browsing, highlighted search and desktop search of your computer. One of my favorite features in Firefox is highlighted search words. MSN Toolbar adds this feature for MSIE; in other words, when you search for "free donuts" on the Internet, pages you view from the search have the words "free" and "donuts" highlighted.

TIP: You can also highlight words on any page just by
typing in the search bar and, instead of hitting ENTER,
click on the highlighter icon.

MSN Toolbar also integrates Microsoft Desktop Search. I have been using Copernic for some time now; it is free and does the job well. If you have not started using a search product for your desktop, I highly recomend you get one. If you are using MSIE for the Internet and MS Outlook for email, you should consider using Microsoft's Desktop Search product, since it is integrated with the MSN Toolbar. I am giving it a try to see how it stacks up against Copernic... So far, Copernic is better for initial indexing and cross-platform support, but Microsoft's search can be used as a toolbar in MS Outlook very easily.

While I still think Firefox is superior to MSIE, and the MSN Toolbar needs a LOT of polish and keyboard shorcuts, it is a step in the right direction. You may want to download the MSN Toolbar at if you use Internet Explorer. As I previously mentioned, Maxthon does offer more features, but the MSN Toolbar is "official". I expect MSIE version 7 will include other "killer-app" features that will conpete directtly with Firefox; but in the mean time, use the MSN Toolbar.

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