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Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Released

Microsoft has released the full IE7 Beta 2. You can download it here.

There are few cosmetic differences in this version, except that an icon or UI element that has been polished. However, I noticed these new options:

  • When you close a window with multiple tabs, you get the option to open all of those tabs automatically the next time IE7 loads.
  • You can set how often you want to check RSS feeds for updates (15 minutes/30 minutes/1 hour/4 hours/1 day/1 week).
  • You can now switch through tabs in the order they were most recently used via CTRL+TAB, although it needs to be turned on in Options.

Very nice. These are all useful option Opera comes with, and seeing them in IE makes me feel good about this browser.

This version of IE7 is available for more than just Windows XP SP x86 system. It is the first IE7 beta that works on XP x64, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and 2003 ia64.

Some things I noticed in the release notes:

  • You must uninstall the previous betas before installing this one.
  • Do not reinstall Windows after installing IE7. Instead, uninstall IE7, then reinstall Windows, then reinstal IE7.
  • Some 32-bit ActiveX controls won’t run in the 64-bit IE7 versions. Ironically, this means more security, although it also means some websites won’t run.
  • This version of IE7 does not support RSS feeds that run right-to-left, although the final version will
  • You will not be prompted to authenticate on FTP sites, and must authenticate in the URL (ftp://username:password@example.com). This, also, is expected to be fixed.
  • The MSN 1.02 Toolbar does not work in this IE7. Previous versions of the IE developer toolbar do not work, although the latest version does. In my install, the IE developer toolbar messed up the names of the toolbars in the toolbar selection menu, but otherwise worked just fine.
  • Google Desktop search crashes IE7 when you open a new tab. A workaround (besides disabling active indexing) is to leave the “How to use tabs” page to open with every new tab.
  • Some websites require IE6, even though the work with IE7. Microsoft recommends using the IE6 user agent spoof found here temporarily when visiting those sites.
  • IE7 Beta 2 gets rid of Offline Favorites. Microsoft expects you to use RSS instead.

In the Associated Press article, IE development general manager Dean Hachamovitch says there will be at least one more beta release before IE7 goes gold in the second half of this year. In the IE blog announcement, he says German, Finnish, Arabic, and Japanese versions will be released in the next three weeks.

After installing, you have to reboot. On my first reboot, I got a blue screen of death. On my next reboot, without going into safe mode, everything ran perfectly fine.

The latest Google toolbar and Windows Live toolbar run fine in IE7.

I don’t know if this was previously available, but you can turn off text labels in IE7, reclaiming even more space from the UI in the tab bar.

There’s an IE7 readiness toolkit for web developers to ready their sites for the new browser.

Microsoft is offering free phone support to consumers in North America, Germany and Japan.

Mary Jo Foley has more, including that there is a new website for IE Add-ons.

The Microsoft RSS team blog has a lot of information on the RSS platform, and some useful guides.

April 25th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Internet Explorer, Applications, General | 3 comments



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3 Comments »

  1. Comprehensive IE7 beta 2 review [12 screenshots]…

    Microsoft keeps tinkering around with Internet Explorer 7 readying it for an official release later this year or first part of next with the consumer version of Vista. You can take IE7 Beta 2 for a test drive, their third official beta iteration (despi…

    Trackback by Things That ... Make You Go Hmm | April 25, 2006

  2. What If…..IE Never Happened?…

    With the launch of the IE7 beta, there has been some fascinating discussion about Microsoft’s track record in the Web browser market. John Dvorak, who’s no stranger to controversial, against-the-grain ideas, describes IE as “The Greatest Microsoft B…

    Trackback by Mark Evans | April 26, 2006

  3. Does it come with AdBlock, or such an extension? That is *the* killer app for websurfing currently.

    Comment by Ken Piper | April 26, 2006

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