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Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview

So, I got the leaked copy of IE7 Beta 2. Here’s a rundown of the install process and new features, complete with 33 (yes, 33!) screenshots. Enjoy!

01 - Setup intro

Before you can install, you have to validate Windows, so don’t bother downloading the readily available torrent if you stole that, too.

02 - Setup validation

When installing IE7, setup installs any applicable update and checks for malware installed on your system.

03 - Setup install

04 - IconAfter a reboot, you get your happy new orange-highlighted Internet Explorer logo. Clicking it, you are first asked if you want to turn on the Phishing Filter, and are then presented with a runonce “Customize Your Settings” webpage which (redundantly) asks if you want to turn on the Phishing Filter, choose your local, and participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. Not only are you asked about the Phishing Filter twice in a row, but if you selected to turn it on the first time, the box is still unchecked the second time!

05 - Phishing Filter

06 - customize start page

So, what’s new in the interface?

07 - blank interface

09 - RSS button08 - tiny iconWell, the new logo is there, as is the newly universal RSS icon. For pages that properly declare multiple RSS feeds, you can select them from a drop-down. You can have a sound play every time you reach a webpage with an RSS feed. I bet Scoble wants a sound for when they don’t have one. :-)

29 - Feed settings

12 - plus sign Add to FavoritesRather than a task pane, there’s a Favorite Center, that comes out from a button on the extreme left, and also manages your subscribed feeds and History. You can revert to the old task pane view by clicking a pin button. Next to the Favorites Center Button, before the tabs, there is a plus symbol that means “Subscribe”, but power users will immediately assume means “New Tab”. Get rid of it, now. Bad choice.

10 - Favorites Center

11 - Feeds and pin button

The actual “New Tab” button, simply a tiny tab next to the last tab, does show a new page icon hen hovered over. Nice touch, but it doesn’t make up for the plus sign.

13 - new tab button

15 - Refresh and StopThey’ve held onto the unified forward/backward menu, which lets you see the most recent sites, in both directions, at the same time, which I love. But, they got rid of the unified refresh/stop button, which isn’t terrible, but I liked it better in beta one when we had only one button for both functions.

14 - back and forward

16 - Search barThe search bar comes with MSN Search only, although if you have a default engine, it’ll keep that, which is why you see Google by me. Clicking “Get Search Providers” brings you to the Search Guide, which we already discussed. Clicking to add a search provider is fast and easy, and you can make any the default. The “Change Search Defaults” dialog lets you remove any, or change the default, but you can’t change the order.

17 - add search provider

18 - search provider dialog

When you have more than one tab open, you get a little “x” in the tab to close it. You don’t get it when you have one tab, which makes sense (but apparently not to some other browsers), and you don’t get it in unselected tabs, which makes it harder to accidentally close a tab, but also makes it too hard to close other tabs on purpose (although it can be done by right clicking on an unselected tab, which produces so little feedback as to be confusing). It also means you might click on a tab twice by accident, hitting the appearing-out-of-nowhere “x” on the way. This is a good idea that is too much trouble to hold onto, and should be at least an option to turn off.

19 - Close Tab button

20 - Quick Tabs selectWhen you have multiple tabs open, besides a quick drop down listing all the tabs, you get access to the Quick Tabs feature. Hit it, and you instantly see large images of all your tabs on one screen, to easily pick the one you want. Quick Tabs vanishes if you click on any other user interface element. It works instantaneously, with no wasteful graphical flashes.

21 - Quick Tabs

22 - Tab right clickYou have several options when right clicking a tab (or right-clicking a page in Quick Tabs). Besides closing the tab in question, you can close the other tabs, refresh that or all the tabs, get a new tab, or restore previous tab groups (which I could not figure out).

Pressing “Alt” brings back the hidden File menus, sandwiched between the Address and Tab bars. This is a nice way of saving space, while leaving the options there quickly. I could not find any way to leave the File menu on at all times.

23 - show File menu

You can save a group of tabs as a favorite, which simply creates a folder with all of those tabs in your Favorites. You can open any Favorites folder, opening all of the items in seperate tabs. You can save a group of open tabs as your home page, meaning you see them when the browser starts, or add any webpage to the set by itself, or type in URLs in the Options dialogue, one per line.

24 - save Tab group

25 - open Tab group

26 - save as home page

27 - save multiple home pages

There are several options for how tabs act, including one to “Let Internet Explorer decide” which popups should open in a new window, or a new tab. You are warned if you try to close the browser with multiple tabs open, although you can turn that on or off.

28 - Tab settings

31 - close program

The Help file is under construction, apparently.

30 - Help file

Easy to miss is the zoom zontrol in the status bar (which seems to be an idea taken from the Office 12 team), that lets you quickly choose different zoom levels, or you can just click it to cycle between 100%, 125% and 150%.

32 - zoom

The printing tools are just great, making it so much easier to print web pages properly, fitting them to paper size on the fly.

33 - print preview

So, what’s the verdict? Microsoft is doing a great job catching up and making Internet Explorer good enough, feature-wise, to compete with Firefox. They’ve also managed to keep the browse easier to use and simpler than their competitors. Still, there isn’t a lot to compete with Firefox’s open user community and extensions, yet, and there aren’t any revolutionary features.

When it comes to usability, Microsoft might have the edge when IE7 finally ships. When it comes to power users, Firefox will likely still have their favor. Microsoft needs to work to get third-parties back into developing for IE if it expects to win, and it’ll be a lot easier to do so with this improved web browser.

January 23rd, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Internet Explorer, Applications, General | 47 comments

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  1. Looks pretty cool. Finally they are going to have tabbed browsing.

    Comment by Daddy Yankee | January 23, 2006

  2. Great review, Nathan. =)

    Comment by Devin Reams | January 23, 2006

  3. IE7 Beta 2 review…

    Trackback by Watson's Ramblings | January 24, 2006

  4. You said:
    “Microsoft needs to work to get third-parties back into developing for IE if it expects to win, and it’ll be a lot easier to do so with this improved web browser.”

    As far as I know, there are lots of developers working on IE. Most of who produce adware and spyware programs. These developers are what keep driving people away from IE in the first place.
    I’m sure most end user with a capable PC don’t give a rat about spyware and things like that as long as they don’t pop up every 2 minutes. And to be honest, as far as I’m concerned, most ugly software isn’t that that goes into your computer without your aproval. Think of those BuddyIcons programs that say they do wonders, or of those adware suported applications. Users see an add, users click the add, users scroll past warnings and blablas(including EULAs) and go stright to installing. Then they get pleagued forever. To think most might not notice a slowdown or files being wiped for some time. Viruses and exploits are the least of they’re problems.

    Comment by Salgau Catalin | January 24, 2006

  5. Download link of IE 7 build 5299:

    Comment by userz | January 24, 2006

  6. so when does this get released so us mere mortals can, as they say in the UK, ‘have a bash?”

    Comment by Brinke | January 24, 2006

  7. I installed IE7 and now running some test on it. One of the things I have noticed is on sites that are built without tables using DIVS that when resized they white out and cause in some cases a mini-crash where the mouse freezes up.
    I’m bearing in mind that this is till early days yet and many things are still to be fixed.

    Comment by Vincent | January 25, 2006

  8. I just downloaded IE7 beta 2 and tried to install it, but the validation will not work. It says I don’t have a valid version of Windows, but I do. I have a legal copy. Any ideas on why it will not validate? I have never had a problem before and I am able to validate on

    Comment by Chris | January 25, 2006

  9. I can’t speak as to your specific Windows validation issue, Chris, but if you downloaded the beta from where I did, there were instructions for circumventing the validation requirement. And if you didn’t, you now have a better idea where to look.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | January 26, 2006

  10. Is there a setting that I’m not seeing that you can set the default tab behavior to something like “always open link in new tab”?

    Comment by Rick | February 1, 2006

  11. Oye, i was one link away…to answer my own question, the answer is middle-click.

    Comment by Rick | February 1, 2006

  12. I just installed IE 7 beta 2 and the tabs are not there. Anybody have any ideas?

    Comment by Don | February 1, 2006

  13. Don, that is VERY surprising. Are you sure you downloaded the right version from Microsoft’s website, that you have Windows XP with Service Pack 2? If you have IE7 (check the help menu), then you can enable tabs if they are disabled by pressing ALT and clicking Tools > Internet Options and then the Settings button under Tabs.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | February 1, 2006

  14. To echo above statements… IE 7 is really nice and I want to use it instead of Firefox but the lack of certain addons/extensions inside of IE make me head back to Firefox for the time being.

    Comment by Steve | February 2, 2006

  15. Nathan, I have attached 3 screenshots of my settings and info. I do have XP Pro SP2.

    Comment by Don | February 2, 2006

  16. Okay, try dragging the divider after the second toolbar icon (to the left of the home page icon). That should reveal it. EI7 doesn’t react well with unlocked toolbars. If that doesn’t work, the tab bar may be hiding somewhere else, just look around for something to drag.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | February 2, 2006

  17. When I do move the home, rss, print icons over to the right before the extend arrows are shown and I lock the position it jumps right back to the left where it was. I can’t move it or lock it any where.

    Comment by Don | February 2, 2006

  18. I really like the multiple home pages feature. It would really be nice if you could set IE7 to open in Quick Tabs mode showing thumbnails of all home pages.

    Comment by Nick | February 11, 2006

  19. I’m having exactly the same problem with the tabs, even though they are enabled within the internet settings, they just dont work and i can confirm the same as Dons screen shots.

    They do not work when installed correctly with the installer, nor do they work when you have ie7 beta v2 running stand alone.

    Previous to trying ie7 beta v2, i had ie 7 beta (v1) even though set as a standalone version screwed ie6’s registry settings so you couldnt browse web pages as they would load into a mozilla based browser such as firefox or flock.

    With that said there must be a registry fault somewhere, looked everywhere and this is the first place i have found another user experiencing the same problem as i.

    Related Links:

    Comment by Tom Taylor | February 15, 2006

  20. yeah yeah..blalbalba.
    it sucks
    and it tries to look like firefox too…assholes!!! bill of gatus sucks my ballz !!

    Comment by happyfirefoxuser;) | February 19, 2006

  21. I install IE beta 2 and a day later un-inalled it, now when I try to re-install it I get the following error message, “Internet Explorer could not be installed see log in system directory.

    Comment by Janice | February 24, 2006

  22. i get the same message. i also had problems uninstalling the beta 1.

    Comment by Paul | March 7, 2006

  23. I have the same tabs problem.

    I unistalled IE7 and reinstalled it but again tabs do not appear. Although this problem occurs in my office computer which uses WinXP Prof.

    At home, my laptop is running with WinXP Home. And everything is working perfect on that machine.

    I think they have a bug and need to correct this.

    Also moving the back,forward,refresh and stop buttons would be very good. Back and forward buttons are quiet small and Refresh button should be at the left most part. It is difficult to get used to this. Ah you can also can not move toolbars to command bars.

    Comment by Cagdas | April 17, 2006

  24. Another comment,

    I think they were pretty quick about releasing the version of IE7, so that’s why there are bugs. They want to stop Firefox’s rise as soon as possible.

    Comment by Cagdas | April 17, 2006

  25. I installed IE& and when I restart my computer I get an pop up that says “Procedure entry point GetProcessing ImageFileNameW could not be located in dynamic link library PSAPI.DLL” Anyone else get this. Installed it twice and the same thing happens.

    Comment by Debbie | April 27, 2006

  26. Regarding Debbie - Sorry, the only solution I found was reinstall Windows - You may try program below first as I did not know about it before my reinstall

    Regarding Don - Run xmllitesetup in the update folder for IE7. Fixes the tab problem.

    Comment by Robert Pepper | May 16, 2006

  27. I had the same problem in IE7B2 with the tabs not showing after installing…. unrar the install file to a new folder and run the xmllitesetup.exe in the update folder. That solved the problem for me.

    Comment by Jason Williams | June 2, 2006

  28. Thanks, Jason Williams. It works.

    Comment by Ricardo EA Andretto | June 6, 2006

  29. thank you very match

    Comment by tarik | July 9, 2006

  30. oh..I’m so confused about this missing tab :(

    Comment by gumbreg | August 29, 2006

  31. and what next after run xmilitesetup.exe
    do I must restart my PC ?

    Comment by river | August 29, 2006

  32. sorry for dummy question above :D
    but xmilitesetup.exe did fixed it, just restart the browser, not my PC and I can see the changes
    thanks Jason Williams :)

    ps : do I must register first before commenting ?

    Comment by river | August 29, 2006

  33. Thanks! Fix tab is work!!!

    Comment by Kqc | August 30, 2006

  34. Deb,
    I get the same message. Any fix without having to re-load windows?

    Comment by Frank | September 7, 2006


    Comment by abc | October 6, 2006

  36. Hello. I have had IE7 Beta 2 for about 1.5 wks. When I right-clicked a link, an option would ALWAYS come up “open link in a new tab” (my favourite thing about IE7!!). But my friend came over, and I don’t know what he did (he was only on the computer for about 2 minutes), but now when I right-click something, that option “open link in new window” does not appear.
    The temporary solution is middle clicking the link, and then ONLY on that tab, at that website, the option is available. Then when i go to another link, it is not available again until i middle click a link first.
    Does anyone have an answer to my problem?

    Comment by Jonno | October 20, 2006

  37. i have the missing “open in new tab” issue too.
    what is this xmllitesetup.exe file?
    and where can i find it?

    Comment by nick workman | October 23, 2006

  38. my browser wouldnt let me right click and select “open in a new tab”
    i fixed it by doing this:

    i uninstalled google toolbar, restarted my computer, checked to make sure the right click “open in a new tab” worked, then went to google, and downloaded the latest version, and voila, all working.
    hope this helps you all

    Comment by nick workman | October 23, 2006

  39. What a piece of crap, slow as poop and where the hell is the open link in new tab when I right click on a link?! DO I need to reinstall my whole system to get that enabled. This sucks balls.

    Comment by Arthur | November 12, 2006

  40. I installed the “finished” version of IE7, and have got the same problem as Debbie did with the Beta back in April, i.e. “Procedure entry point GetProcessImageFileNameW could not be located in dynamic link library PSAPI.DLL”. I’d be grateful to know if Debbie was able to resolve the problem.

    Comment by robert | November 28, 2006

  41. Immediately after posting the last comment, I discovered how to resolve the problem. I went to and followed the instructions. They seem to work.

    Comment by robert | November 28, 2006

  42. Using the public version of IE7 I have the same problem described above by a beta tester, namely that there are no tabs. I just downloaded the latest version and reinstalled, but still no tabs. Under Internet Options the default (use tabs) options are set. I’ve tried fiddling with those options (including turning tabs off), but nothing makes tabs appear.

    Any ideas?

    Comment by Stu | January 5, 2007

  43. don’t like ix7 how do i get the other one back? Thanks

    Comment by jeff | January 31, 2007

  44. […] A comprehensive preview from Nathan Weinberg of InsideGoogle. […]

    Pingback by » Blog Archive » Link: Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview | February 24, 2007

  45. How do you stop all the UK sites from appearing when you do a search on Yahoo or Google?

    Comment by Guy | March 3, 2007

  46. Like others, I was Very disappointed to find NO TABS when I finally bothered to download IE7 recently. Wondering if problem is related to XP Pro as am running that. Found a number of other frustrating bugs too, so will be heading back to dear ole Firefox.

    Comment by Orlando | October 13, 2007

  47. when i go to type in a web site in the browers area. my internet explorer freezes up and i have to shut the browers down and open it again. then type where i want to go in the search area… and then click on the link… why is this happening…

    Comment by tj | October 17, 2007

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