Microsoft has just released Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 this afternoon. As I wrote earlier this week, this release of IE is filled to the gills with new privacy and security features, so much so that it looks to me to be as significant an upgrade as Service Pack 2 was for Windows XP. I haven’t had a chance to put it to work yet, but plan to do so this weekend. Like a lot of other people, I essentially stopped using IE altogether several years ago when Firefox 1.0 was released, and I haven’t really looked back since. At the time, Firefox represented a serious leap forward in security and reliability from where IE was. Microsoft has been steadily pushing that security rock back up the hill since then, and it looks like they’ve made some really good progress. And being the paranoid that I am, the privacy feature set in IE 8 looks mighty enticing, so it’s going to get a good tryout. We shall see. If you decide to check it out, let me know what you think.