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Usually Google gets all the attention for its latest, greatest online tools. But this month, Microsoft grabs headlines by adding zippy new features to its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser.

Here are four IE (version 8) features that will save time for you and your employees:

1. Organize your open web pages with colored tabs. When you’re doing research on multiple topics and you have a slew of tabs open, IE makes it easy to see related pages by grouping them by color.

Here’s how it works: Say you open a new tab from an existing page. IE puts it directly beside the original tab, then gives both tabs the same color.

2. Do everything in the address bar. Type in what you’re looking for, and IE searches the web, as well as previously visited web sites, favorites and RSS feeds. A list of your search results drops down; you choose the page you want.

3. Preview before you click. Some thumbnail pictures appear beside search results, so you can recognize the perfect page before you click.

4. Search faster within pages. Say you want to find the word “myopic” within a web page. With the last version of IE, you had to select “Find” from the menu, enter “myopic” in a pop-up window and click “find.” Too many steps.

The new version puts a search field at the top of your browser page. You type the word, and it highlights potential matches on the page as you type each character. You’d likely find your word after typing only “myo.”

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