in Blog

IE8, Tab Grouping and Task Manager

IE8 beta 2 has been a great release so far from our Redmond friends. We should not forget that its still Beta and we will have issues with it.

I was playing around with IE8 Tab Grouping and also looking into Task Manager on how IE8 was performing.

Tab Grouping is a cool feature which gives a color for similar tabs opened from same web site. For example, you may be reading an article from a web site and suddenly you see something interesting, and click that link to open in a new tab. IE8 groups those two tabs and treats them to be different web page links from the same web site and thus gives a color to it so that we can easily identify where the tabs came from.

Most interesting is even the Quick Tabs will show that color 🙂


(click to enlarge)

Suddenly I thought why not open Task Manager and see what’s going on


I was surprised to see that there are 10 instances of iexplore.exe running and also to see it marked as a 32 bit application even though I have installed the 64bit version in my 64bit Vista Ultimate!

Update: As Nathan Mercer has pointed out in the comments, IE8 defaults to 32bit version, though 64bit executable is available via Start Menu


I also found that I had opened 10 Tab Groups opened (based on the color) which directly relates to 10 instances running in Task Manager!

What is happening here!

Update: Its a new feature called LCIE and you can read about it here

Let us do some test:

1) I opened IE8 and fired up the Task Manager


You can see that shows 2 instances running!

2) Let us open 3 tabs now


We now have 4 instances running!

3) Lets close two tabs in the previous screen-shot


I still have 4 instances running!

I really do not know what is happening here, but each instance does use memory!

What with IE7?


(Click to enlarge)

I have opened 4 tabs and yet I get only one instance running (This IE7 is a 32 bit version though)

Any suggestions or comments are welcome

Write a Comment


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.