I recently installed Windows XP in VirtualBox, and did all necessary updates, including IE 8. However, IE 8 kept crashing. At first, I thought it was a problem with VirtualBox or its Guest Additions. The same problem exists in kvm. Then I thought it was a general problem of running IE 8 in virtual machines.
But inspired by a comment of IE 8, I downloaded IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe and re-installed IE 8. The problem has gone. I never expected I have to install IE 8 twice to get it working properly in a newly installed (clean) Windows XP.