Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 browser is now generally available. What you may or may not be aware of is that Microsoft has included some accelerators for Live Search within it.
Users can highlight a word and hit the icon and bring up a menu which includes things like "search with Live Search," "shop and save with Live Search Products," etc.
You can easily find locations on Live Search Maps by highlighting an address. Click the blue arrow, and select "Map with Live Search" from the accelerator menu. You will then see a map preview, which you can click on to get a more detailed map page.
A similar funtion allows you to easily translate words or phrases. Highlight the words you want to translate, click the blue arrow, and select "Translate with Live Search" from the accelerator menu. A preview window will come up with the translation. You can easily change languages from there.
The search accelerators are useful functions that you would expect to come in the form of a plug-in rather than in the browser by default. They could help boost Live search use tremendously if enough people take advantage of them.
Yahoo is offering its own "Yahoo-Optimized" version of IE8. This comes with a feature called the Mail Web slice, which gives signed-in users quick previews of their Mail in a drop-down page within browser.
It also includes direct access to other Yahoo products like Yahoo Search, Yahoo Toolbar, and the Yahoo home page as well as visual search suggestions under the search box.