Thursday, April 27, 2006

First Look - IE 7.0

It has 85% of the market share not by popular choice but because of its packaging with the Operating System by Microsoft. That is perhaps the reason why Microsoft never bothered to update IE in the last 5+ years. Five years is an eternity in the the fast changing IT world and could sound the death bell for any product. But not for IE as it comes bundled with the ubiquitous Windows Operating System.

Finally, IE is getting a major facelift with expected release of IE 7.0 this summer. Microsoft released a beta version recently and the first look is promising. It has caught up with Firefox and added some. It has some new security features and warns about possible threats.

This new version of IE did an interesting thing during installation. Before it would install, IE wanted to verify if the OS is genuine. It would only install after th verification of OS. I wonder what Microsoft is upto with this one. Are they not going to allow IE7.0 to install on pirated OS?

IE folks must have liked the opensource Firefox a lot as they have copied most of its functionality.

Cleaner Look: The newer version has a better look and feel. It now has smaller icons and the mosaic looks uncluttered.

Tabbed Browsing: Finally IE also has tabbed browsing. Here, IE has bettered tabbed browsing with an option to remember the tabs while closing and reopening them when the browser is opened again. I initially couldn't find the close button for shutting the individual tabs but later figured it out. It was not intutive like Firefox.

Security: IE 7.0 has some new provisions to provide phising alerts, pop-up blocker and stuff. Initially, it kept blocking even the normal stuff, which was annoying. But later I learnt how to stop that.

One thing I did not see is the quickfill function, which is very handy in Firefox.

Also, there seems to be some compatability issue between IE 6.0 and 7.0. Some sites that worked well with IE 6.0 had problems with IE 7.0. This may have to do with IE 6.0 specific extensions not carried over to 7.0.

Overall, IE 7.0 beta looks promising but I am not switching from Firefox. I now use IE only if I have to.


  1. >>I am not switching from Firefox. I now use IE only if I have to.

    That says it all, if you ask me :)

    I use both IE6 and FF and FF comes out trumps from CSS rendering to plain good usability.

    Pop-up blockers, oh my god
    i click on some link which shud open a popup and Ergo!! there goes a PLUP PLUP sound indicating the pop-up has been blocked, while all the banner ads open up automatically.
    So much for pop-up blockers:))

  2. Prabhu

    yes.. Firefox is still the best game in town.. but I have learnt not to underestimate the tenacity of Microsoft to come from behind and wipe the opponent. They have done it time and time again.. and might attempt to do so with their IE 7.0.

    But one this different this time than the past.. that is the opensource movement.. So, it's going to be interesting.. and the consumers will be the winners ultimately..

  3. Satish

    No, I haven't tried removing it yet..

    I have encountered few issues with some applications already. (don't work on IE7.0 or FF)..

    I might un-install it very soon..