I just finished trying out Internet Explorer 7 (no thanks to Microsoft’s PR department), and while it is an evolution over IE6 (XP SP2), it is certainly no revolution. I’ve got a few nice screenshots for you fellas, and I’d like to thank Adam Lasnik for providing me with the Flickr Pro Account, which makes all this easier on me and my bandwidth.
The biggest problem with IE7 is that there isn’t much different. The only differences I could really notice were the tabs, feed discovery, and phishing filter (which doesn’t obviously do much).
The tabs are better than IE6 with the MSN Toolbar, equal to default Firefox tabs, and not as good as AOL Explorer’s (or Firefox with any number of extensions). Tab switching is quick and seamless (no annoying flicker). You can switch and manipulate tabs with the keyboard, close them, close all other tabs.
What you can’t do is drag the tabs around (something so useful in AOL Explorer that I don’t know how I lived without it), tear-off tabs, save tabs as a set, or open a folder in seperate tabs.I hope Microsoft plans on implementing more features. You can open a link in new tabs, but you can’t specify background or foreground, at least not with the mouse.
Regardless of some bad reporting out there, the Google Toolbar does work in IE7. In fact, since Google was my default search engine in IE6, it is in IE7. Microsoft didn’t touch that. Very “not evil”.
The phishing filter is only evident by an early dialog box asking you if you want to use it. If anyone can direct me to a PayPal forgery website, I can actually test if it works.
The feed discovery is rudimentary. It shows you the first feed linked to on the page, and no others. I would like it if IE7 showed my comments feed, and, on post pages, the feeds for those posts. This is just another feature that needs more depth. Clicking the feed button on the toolbar:
Brings up the rudimentary feed display:
Which allows you to view a quick-loading webpage and not view any ads, costing the site owner revenue. Uh, I mean, it lets you view a preview of the feed. Right. At least it displays feed ads well, which is going to become a requirement if people start using this feature:
You can “subscribe” to the feed, but all you are really doing is bookmarking the page, nothing like an RSS reader. I’ve heard this version of IE will eventually use a “common feed list”, so maybe bookmarking the feed will eventually allow RSS readers to know which feeds to grab. We’ll have to wait and see on that one as well.
So, the verdict: Three new, promising features, none of which are ready yet. Oh, they aren’t buggy at all. Everything runs as it should. This is more of a “Google beta”, in the sense that the product may work, but it is missing some key features. I’d like to hope that those features are on the IE7 team’s to-do list, and not confined to this post.