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IE 7.0 Beta 2 Available to the Public


apcmiller

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The beta version of IE7 released today by Microsoft is meant for developers and tech enthusiasts, and it's a good thing. This is not (yet) a browser for the faint of heart; in fact, if you've become accustomed to the minimalist approach of alternative browsers like Firefox, IE7 might actually feel like a step backward. The product's proper name—which should tell you most everything you need to know—is Internet Explorer 7.0 for Windows XP SP2 Beta 2 Preview. We'll refer to it simply as IE7 beta, though.

Though the browser is publicly available, we recommend that general users stay away for now and let developers identify the fledgling browser's foibles. (Microsoft told us to expect a consumer beta "soon.") To put this advice into context, six of the eight PC Magazine editors and analysts who tried the beta uninstalled it within two days.

While significantly trimmer than the most bloated configuration of IE6, the IE7 beta is still not the lean, mean, fast, and clean browser that Firefox 1.5 is, and with Firefox 2.0 due out by mid-2006, Microsoft may lose even more ground to the upstart. The core Firefox 1.5 application itself is less than 5MB, while this hefty hunk o' code weighsin at almost 11.5MB. By comparison, IE6 SP1 can range anywhere from 11MB to 75MB depending on the configuration you choose.

The most noticeable thing about IE7 beta is the lack of a traditional navigation bar. Both IE6 and Firefox use the upper left corner, where most Westerners first look when reading a book or Web page, for Back, Forward, Home, Refresh, and Stop buttons. IE7 breaks the mold, and that takes some getting used to. The Back and Forward buttons are still in the upper left corner, but the Stop and Refresh buttons are now in the upper right, and Home is two rows down on the right.

In fact, once you get down to the second row, it's a whole new ball game. Here you'll find a star-emblazoned button labeled Favorites Center. Clicking on it opens a side window with three tabs, one each for displaying your favorites, your current RSS feeds, and your history. Next to this is the add/subscribe button for adding RSS feeds. The RSS reader is functional if unexceptional, but because the vast majority of Internet surfers use IE, even without a lot of the bells and whistles of more advanced readers, IE7 could be a catalyst for widespread RSS adoption. And adding RSS feeds from your favorite site is simple—just two clicks.

We're happy to see that this release allow for tabbed browsing, and we like the Quick Tabs button that puts miniature versions of all your open tabs in a single window. You can also save groups of tabs for simultaneous launch, letting you load multiple home pages at startup, for instance. Zoom controls smoothly increase the size of both the text and images of the pages displayed. And IE7 beta is perceptibly faster than IE6, though we didn't notice much difference between IE7 and Firefox.

You'll also find more mundane improvements. We certainly applaud the shrink-to-fit option you'll find among the print choices. Quite a few trees have lost their lives to pages that had to be reprinted in landscape mode after printing in portrait mode cut off important text.

The Microsoft crew that showed us the latest IE emphasized that Redmond completely rewrote the code for its rendering engine. The new engine had a lot of glitches, though, and hampered our browsing abilities in some cases. While main pages for most Web sites loaded just fine, you'll notice that some specialty applications, blogs, and tools might be rendered incorrectly. For instance, the browser had problems when it rendered—or rather didn't render–the text within our own PCMag.com forums application. The browser lost all our formatting controls and also shrank the text box. And using the quote feature made the posts virtually illegible due to all the raw HTML code filling the window.

We also miss a search-as-you-type feature you can use when conducting a search of a Web page (also known as word-wheeling), something we've grown to love in Firefox, Yahoo! Desktop Search and X1. We thought the lack of word-wheeling odd, since you'll find it in many areas of the beta builds of Vista we've looked at thus far, and it's even available in IE7 when searching RSS feeds. For general page searches, though, you'll have to content yourself with a standard old-timey find/search dialog box.

Microsoft seems to be more open and solicitous about improving security in the new browser. The initial post-install load page asks you to turn on the automatic Phishing Filter and participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, for instance, and most Active X controls are disabled by default. The company is touting a number of other security improvements, though several will only be available in the Vista version of IE7. One such advance is Protected Mode, which puts the browser into a limited-privilege state that prevents write to the IE7 cache without explicit user permission. We'll also have to wait for Vista for Parental Controls.

Stay tuned for update reviews. In the near term (read months) Microsoft expects to roll out a broad consumer beta of IE7. And look for the final version of IE7 sometime in the second half of 2006. We do like much of the look and feel of the new browser, even if a lot of it seems to be me-too features imported from competing products. Overall, given Microsoft's timeline and presumed budget for the new browser, it's disappointing that this first beta version of IE7 feels more like a catch-up than a truly innovative new product.

PCMag Review

Microsoft Download Page

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ROMANTICGUY50
I had Internet Explorer 7.0 beta 2 for weeks...abit slow lolz

Its a lot showeer at this time than IE6. I am not ready for it yet. Took it out. I have High Speed canle and the the thing moved real show. I dont like the interface either the design. Couldnt find my favs or anything. I will stick with IE6 I use Firefox the most. So far noth worth it in my opinion.

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I had Internet Explorer 7.0 beta 2 for weeks...abit slow lolz

that would be the beta 2 preview, i'm sure alot's changed since that was released (or leaked shall we say) :welcome:

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I'm sorry, that review at the top is the biggest pile of s**t in the world, being polite too. It has serious flaws in the claims it makes and several stupid remarks.

I'll expand on a few from the skim i did:

1) They seem to assume firefox = best and the review (if it can be called that), carries on that. Everything compares back to firefox, they seem to forget the drawbacks/ limations of firefox and simply ingnore them. For example the startup time and resource usage of the browsers. A paradigm perhaps?

2) They talk about the download size of the browser. Wow! Who cares? Most users have fast internet connection 5mb isn't gonna ruin your life! If we are picking numbers opera 3.7mb....

3) They talk about rendering speed. They claim firefox and IE are the same speed? Sorry, a pile of s**t. Its well known IE (even version 6) is faster rendering pages on a whole than firefox. IE7 is even quicker.

4) They forget this is a PRE-BETA version of the browser! I think they should try a firefox nightly build for bugs opposed to this. IE7 is reletively stable. I've not heard of crashing in my quick scour of sites.

5) They talk about how the browser is setup "out of the box". I'm sorry BUT... microsoft invented the way firefox is setup, the current windows "standard" was a MS inventation... they fancy a change into a more user freindly layout (like in Office 2005), good idea! People are critical of the layout.... but after using it for a short time period, you will realise its setup like that for the better... in future(pretty soon)... it WILL be the windows standard. Users will wonder WHY they stuck to the old crappy layouts.... Critical of change is the review, YET these are the same people that COMPLAIN vista doesn't have many changes! (it does actually... more under the hood than you can actually see)

Rant over....

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hhmmm another massive review from Lite....can't argue more. straight to the bone :welcome: oh you have it there on your nose Lite.

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I'm sorry, that review at the top is the biggest pile of s**t in the world, being polite too. It has serious flaws in the claims it makes and several stupid remarks.

I'll expand on a few from the skim i did:

1) They seem to assume firefox = best and the review (if it can be called that), carries on that. Everything compares back to firefox, they seem to forget the drawbacks/ limations of firefox and simply ingnore them. For example the startup time and resource usage of the browsers. A paradigm perhaps?

2) They talk about the download size of the browser. Wow! Who cares? Most users have fast internet connection 5mb isn't gonna ruin your life! If we are picking numbers opera 3.7mb....

3) They talk about rendering speed. They claim firefox and IE are the same speed? Sorry, a pile of s**t. Its well known IE (even version 6) is faster rendering pages on a whole than firefox. IE7 is even quicker.

4) They forget this is a PRE-BETA version of the browser! I think they should try a firefox nightly build for bugs opposed to this. IE7 is reletively stable. I've not heard of crashing in my quick scour of sites.

5) They talk about how the browser is setup "out of the box". I'm sorry BUT... microsoft invented the way firefox is setup, the current windows "standard" was a MS inventation... they fancy a change into a more user freindly layout (like in Office 2005), good idea! People are critical of the layout.... but after using it for a short time period, you will realise its setup like that for the better... in future(pretty soon)... it WILL be the windows standard. Users will wonder WHY they stuck to the old crappy layouts.... Critical of change is the review, YET these are the same people that COMPLAIN vista doesn't have many changes! (it does actually... more under the hood than you can actually see)

Rant over....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Internet explorer is an eternal beta browser. Bugs and hot fixes every month... :welcome:

Well, the IE7 will be only avaliable for Windows Pro X64, Vista and 2003 Server. So, I can imagine the future: Vista (piece of s..) and IE7 (Just tested here. Stay away from this crap!!) togheter as one... :wacko:

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Uhm... firefox has many bugs (some major) and releases updates quite often. For a few months firefox has (or had... not to sure atm) MORE MAJOR flaws than IE. Eternal BETA browser? You mean releasing test builds everyday? Yup... mozilla.org do that.

IE7 final details havent been specified, but it will work on Windows XP, Vista, 2003 for a fact. x64 has nothing to do with it.

You calling it "crap" is an opinion without valid information to back it up. I know 100s of people in real life that LOVE IE7.

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I am wondering how we install IE7?....just install over the current IE or get it through update?

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Just run the installer you can download from MS' website...

Just noticed one more thing with the quote in the first post.... you complain IE7 isn't minimalist... I thought less toolbars = more minmalist :welcome:

Edit:

While i'm at it... the writer CLAIMS that firefox is "lean, mean, fast, and clean", while it uses much more system resources than IE, IE renders pages quicker and has a cleaner UI in the sense it has less stuff.

Maybe my english isn't the best... however i don't beleive i'm reading the article that wrong. :sneaky:

Edit #2:

One more thing.... he claims he likes the UI, while earlier he calls it confusing.... make up your mind fool!

If this is the standard of journalism nowdays, i am ashamed of the society we live in. Reviews and journalism is supposed to be free of bias. This isn't the case, as i've pointed out here (and previously). Yes, i understand value-freedom is hard to come about, but started with a pre-set idea such as "firefox=best" isn't the way to go about approaching a review, fair enough compare it to competing products, but don't start with an idea like that. Maybe i'll email the foolish author of the review. Maybe i'll get offered a job (or they will blacklist me as they can't take criticism). Win win situation.... ^_^

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Eternal BETA browser? You mean releasing test builds everyday? Yup... mozilla.org do that.

I just was sarcastic. :welcome: Good softwares and solid engines don´t need to be patched and patched every 3 or 4 weeks. Imagine the situation: A fix comes for the vulnerability A...; After one week comes a fix for the vulnerability B; but this fix conflicts with the first...then microsoft launches a 3th patch that combines the 1 and 2 in one package...After one month this package is obsolete, and microsoft is ready again for brand new "hot fixes"...always the same history: This is microsoft at all.

IE7 final details havent been specified, but it will work on Windows XP, Vista, 2003 for a fact. x64 has nothing to do with it.

You calling it "crap" is an opinion without valid information to back it up. I know 100s of people in real life that LOVE IE7

IE never was the best browser, and never will be. Is just an integrated module of all microsoft OS, but definitively it is not the best browser. Firefox and Opera are much better. I respect all IE users, but microsoft is the worst sample of monopoly. IE is 80% marketing and 20% browser.

About the 64X information, this is from official microsoft site:

"Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview will only run on Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) systems, but will ultimately be available for Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003".

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/ie7/ie7betaredirect.mspx

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The same statement is true for Firefox though... Firefox has often releases due to vulnerbilities. We can't have double standards. I for one am annoyed by the way "tech" sites, will hype up IE flaws, when they fail to report equally major ones in other browsers. For the record: Opera has had the least major flaws of the major web browsers for a long time now. Linux, MacOS and 99.99% of software has bug fixes and security fixes, its IMPOSSIBLE to program "perfect" or "bug free" software. Regular patching is the answer - it means users are vulnerable for a short(er) period of time. When MS was issueing patches regularly people complained "too many patches over a short period of time", now they release patches every month people complain "they don't patch often enough". It takes a special kind of person (or company) to ADMIT problems and solve them accordingly. A certain major software company doesn't admit problems, i won't to mentioning a name.

How did IE get its market share? Becuase it was by far the most advanced browser of its time when it first came out. Netscape previously was... then MSIE came on the market and overtook it. It is also easy to use, as its there on a default installation of windows. Perhaps microsoft has the monopoly due to a good business structure AND good products. It can't get it by simple matters, obviously its got to have something to offer to get to the high up places?

You said it would run ONLY on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (excluding other variants of Windows XP), while i said it would run on x86 too. Thanks for the official word though.

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Guest Globalist

I still have nothing against the IE core, it's the actual browsers i find absolutley dreadful. From a Pentium 3 to a Athlon Venice, IE6 runs faster on the the systems, than Firefox. (Install and run condidtions with no tweaking of Firefox.)

I have also found that Maxthon and Opera load up pages the fastest and equally load up in the same time compared to all other browsers. I would have to say Opera is still by far the best, due to it's charming ability to save web pages that load up pages in no time at all. (Great for 56k, no doubt.)

I would like to see Opera incorperate an Ad blcking featur ein it's browser, rathe than a user having to install a plugin(s).

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Does FF have an Ad-Blocker as standard or is there an extension needed? I haven't used it in months so I don't know / can't remember if it's implemented or not.

As for Opera's available plugin's I started using one from http://www.diplo.co.uk/design/operatools.php and I've never needed to do anything more since I first put it on (after the 5-10 minute setup). I think shipping with an ad-blocker is a bad idea though. Not only would it increase the file size (not dramatically), but some users may not wish to have this feature.

However, saying that, the Ad-Blocker from that site listed above is VERY small ~35KB so it is possible to implement it without causing too much trouble. It all boils down to what their customers want.

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So, I have a problem. I installed IE7 beta 1 months ago and have since deleted the hotfix unistaller not realizing that it was a hotfix that installed it. Now I cant install beta 2. Is there anyway to uninstall it beta 1 without the uninstaller or am I screwed.

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Please don't use "adblock" tools. Sites show adverts to keep them alive. Removing them makes the owners not recieive any money. The site goes bye...

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open internet explorer 7 and click the help tab and then click "About Internet Explorer"

when you do that ..what version number do you see ??

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Please don't use "adblock" tools. Sites show adverts to keep them alive. Removing them makes the owners not recieive any money. The site goes bye...

There's a difference between supporting websites which genuinely need the funds generated by ads, and those that exploit.

I'm sure you've seen those adverts with the annoying "HELLLOOOOOOO!" speech in the background every 10 seconds.

In any case, I block by a website-to-website route, thus making sure those that I know make enough money are not exploiting everyone else. At the end of the day if I'm not going to click on the banner in the first place, it can stay blocked. They wouldn't be losing out on "revenue" anyway. And I'm majoritvely talking about those sites, including chat ones that I use to keep in touch with friends and family that charge £30-100 a year on "premium" features such as extra inbox and more pictures allowed uploaded. IMO businesses shouldn't be allowed to advertise for other companies, unless they're seriously short of funds or their capital isn't worth it.

I know some sites that are taking in thousands each month but it's costing a fraction of that to run it on a monthly basis.

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Guest Globalist
Removing them makes the owners not recieive any money. The site goes bye...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Then it's a crap site, full stop. On the contrary, I emphisize fullly, my staunch disgreement on that issue. The so called 'advert' is souly contrary to what the product(s) is or is 'worth'. Again, on the contrary, 'adverts' are on T.V. and Radio ('The life blood'.) Well, certianly not the majority of net radio, due to them not NEEDING them. T.V and commercial radio is 'dependent' on them. Clearly. Like I have emphisized, the advert is entirely contrary to what it's 'offering'. If the website is a 'decent' one, then 'banner' ad's are utter bullshit. 'Text' ads, on the other hand, are somewhat a different matter, considering they aren't 'blasteed' across most of the webpage. The majority of high bitrate net radio stations DON'T need adverts. Well, the ones I listen to. Indeed, the radio station's website does not have sickening 'banners'. The quality ones, that is.

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Globalist - Some websites do genuinely need the revenue from banners and ads though, and to make a prime example, nsaneproductions.com.

I agree with those that don't have a steady income using banners but businesses using them as an "extra" is stepping over the line. Especially those that use "intrusive" ones with loud sound effects. That "HELLOOOOO!" one is really really annoying.

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