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Microsoft Internet Explorer is preparing an update to its popular Internet Explorer web browser that will feature increased security and stability for internet users.
Internet Explorer 7.0 is expected to be available in beta format by Summer, 2005. In the meantime, you can download a customized version of Internet Explorer 6 for both Internet and intranet networks... absolutely free!
Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 includes advancements in security and browsing experience for end users, functionality and compatibility for developers and manageability for corporate network administrators. Beta 1 is intended to enable developers to begin to test the new browser for compatibility with their applications and Web sites. Read the Technology Overview to learn more.
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IE7 SDK New Features(For Developer)Back to Top
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 continues the Internet Explorer commitment to provide enhanced security and privacy, additional browser features, and enhanced usability for platform developers. Features and fixes described in this article explain behavior changes you can expect to find in the beta 1 version of Internet Explorer 7 for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Microsoft Windows (code-named "Longhorn").
You can refer to the user and developer documentation on Internet Explorer 7 for full information about how to optimize Internet Explorer 7 for all developers.
In some cases, the architectural underpinnings for new features are provided for Beta 1 and user and developer-visible functionality is planned for beta updates.
Here are the changes in the Internet Explorer 7 Platform Developer software development kit (SDK).
The new Internet Explorer 7 Security features include:
Please give us feedback on all of the features and changes in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1; many of them, including the User Interface, are preliminary and under development and your feedback is important in perfecting Internet Explorer 7 for shipment to all of our customers.
Internet Explorer 7.0 New FeaturesBack to Top
Windows Vista Beta 1 isn't just our first look at Microsoft's new operating system. It's also our first glimpse of Internet Explorer 7, the company's long-awaited new Web browser. Nearly four years after the release of Internet Explorer 6, in the face of growing competition from Mozilla's Firefox browser, Microsoft is finally giving the old IE platform a facelift. And if this early release is any indication, it's sure to be a real improvement.
According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 7 will make its official debut as a Windows XP (SP2) application well before the arrival of Vista. But the company has yet to say when exactly this will happen, and though a beta of Internet Explorer 7 for XP was released alongside, Vista Beta 1, we've yet to get our hands on this release.
The "Internet Explorer 7 for Vista" beta is still a long way from the finished product, but in many ways, it's already far more powerful than the aging IE6. Most notably, it offers a tabbed interface, letting you move back and forth between loaded sites simply by selecting tabs running across the top of the window.
This is very similar to what you get with Firefox, Opera, and many browser add-ons that sit on top of IE6, but Microsoft's take on the tabbed interface is arguably even easier to use┴Xand better implemented than the tabbed browsing in the current MSN toolbar for IE6.
For one, you don't have to create new tabs on your own. Each time you load a site inside one tab, Internet Explorer 7 creates a new blank tab for you. Two, if use your middle mouse button to click on a hyperlink (or Ctrl┴Vleft-click), , the link opens in a new tab. Yes, you can configure other browsers, including Firefox, to do similar things, but offering such features by default is a big boon for everyday users who aren't used to customizing their Web browsers.
Taking another page from Firefox, the Internet Explorer 7 beta also offers a built-in RSS reader, letting you discover, preview, and subscribe to online news feeds. When you surf to a new site, you can browse a list of available feeds simply by selecting the Feed Discovery option on the browser's Tools menu or clicking a button on the toolbar. (This button changes color when new feeds are discovered.)
If you select a feed, you can preview it. And with a third click you can add it to your list of Favorites, easily returning to the feed and checking for new content whenever you like. During testing at PC Magazine Labs, our Internet Explorer 7 beta rarely discovered all the feeds it should have, but once the kinks are ironed out, this tool should be one of the high points of the new browser.
Privacy ReportOn the more practical side of things, the beta includes a new Delete Browsing History tool, a way of guarding your privacy. This lets you instantly erase not only your browsing history┴Xthe list of all the sites you've visited┴Xbut also your saved cookies and passwords, Web form data, and temp files. With IE6, erasing all this was a multistep process, and the various steps weren't immediately obvious.
Microsoft also plans to include three new security tools with Internet Explorer 7 , but only one of them is available on the Vista Beta 1 disc. Beta 1 offers an Add-On Disabled Mode that lets you run IE with all browser add-ons turned off, but we'll have to wait for a future beta to test the two other tools: a new Protected Mode, which prevents spyware and other malware from easily interfering with other parts of your system, and a Phishing Filter, which protects you from fraudulent Web sites.
Essentially, each time you visit a site, the browser's phishing filter will check the URL against an online list of known phishing sites and a list of known legitimate sites. If there's a match, it will simply block or allow the site as appropriate. If not, it will look for "characteristics common to phishing sites" and warn you if any are found. The list of known phishing sites will be regularly updated using feedback from individual users. If you come across a site you're suspicious of, you'll be able to notify Microsoft with a single click.
At present, Internet Explorer 7 has a problem rendering some Web pages. According to Microsoft, this is caused by the sites, which need to update their detection code for Internet Explorer 7 .
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 OutLook BetaBack to Top
It's been almost four years since Microsoft refreshed its venerable Internet Explorer browser. But Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 for XP Beta isn't a Mozilla Firefox killer--far from it. Microsoft's limited availability for Internet Explorer 7 should only open the door wider for competing browsers to steal even more market share in the months to come. Given the high expectations, we're unimpressed with the Internet Explorer 7 for XP Beta.
Pros: Internet Explorer 7 for XP Beta is the first serious upgrade to Internet Explorer in four years, and it adds tabbed browsing and built-in RSS--two features that are currently available in Netscape 8, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari RSS. Unfortunately, the tabbed browsing feature in this beta is still clunky, and one of the best new features (the RSS icon lights up whenever a page has subscription content available) won't be available until the second beta (expected later in 2005). Another great feature, Microsoft's new antiphishing technology, is not part of the current Internet Explorer 7 beta for Windows Vista but is included in beta 1 of Internet Explorer 7 for XP.
Microsoft does improve printing capabilities within Internet Explorer 7 for XP. No longer will you have to contend with truncated pages; in Internet Explorer 7 for XP, the pages will be reduced to fit the printed page.
Cons: Only those running Windows XP SP2 will be able to run the latest version of IE. This is Microsoft's way of forcing non-Windows XP SP2 users to upgrade. Those still running Windows 2000, Me, or even 98 SE will be forced to continue using IE 6 or commit to a $199 Windows XP OS upgrade. This strategy could backfire, giving rivals Mozilla Firefox and Netscape an even bigger slice of the browser pie, especially among those wanting RSS feeds now.
Longtime IE users will wonder what happened to the refresh button, along with many other familiar buttons. Microsoft reduced and therefore vastly simplified the Internet Explorer 7 toolbar area; the address bar is locked to the top of the browser window so that spyware can't replace it with a look-alike toolbar. Internet Explorer 7 also does away with many redundancies between menus and buttons. All of these changes, however, will require some retraining, as old habits die hard.
Other than that, the few new features found in Internet Explorer 7 Beta are not especially innovative--other browsers have had tabbed browsing and RSS for years.
Outlook: As mentioned, unless you already have Windows XP SP2 installed, Internet Explorer 7 for XP won't be available for you. We think that's a dumb approach, and we see Microsoft's marketing fumble as a definite win for Mozilla Firefox and Netscape. We're not convinced that the security features touted in Internet Explorer 7 will be enough to stave off the almost monthly security patches required to keep IE secure.
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