Good, Very Good!
Published on February 4, 2006 By Larry Kuperman In Internet
Microsoft has released for public download the second Beta of the next version of their Internet browser. I have downloaded and installed the Beta 2 of IE7 (Internet Explorer 7) and so far I like the experience very much.

Key Features: Tabbed Browsing, a Streamlined (and highly configurable) user interface, greatly improved security, RSS feed support, toolbar search box. For a full feature list see Link (Some IE7 features will not be available until Vista rolls out.

Killer Feature: Quick tabs, thumb nail view of the tabs that you have open.

If you have used Firefox, the experience will be immediately familiar. Set up was easy, configuration was intuitive. The tabs look the way I have my tabs set in Firefox (I use Tab Mix Plus) and useage was familiar. IE 7 install also optionally runs the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool at installation,which was a nice touch, I thought.

I configured the search box immediately, choosing Google over MSN Seach without problem.

Memory usage still seems higher than for Firefox. IE7 with two tabs open: 67 Mb. Firefox with the same two tabs: 47 Mb. If anyone gets different results, I would like to see them.

As mentioned before, security is GREATLY improved. Tools> Manage Add Ons lets you see what is running and gives you the option of Enabling/Disabling an Add On or deleting it all together. There are also built-in links for a number of Add Ons, including security ones, at You can get Pop Up blockers, anti-Spyware programs, etc.

The interface is way cleaner, although you can easily go back the IE6 "classic" look if you want. See Link

IE7 is obviously intended to go head to head with Mozilla's Firefox. In my not-so-humble opinion, it is competitive. It doesn't blow Firefox away, but it is much better than IE6.

Take the full tour at Link

Comments (Page 1)
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on Feb 04, 2006
Oh! And IE Spell works with it! w00t!
on Feb 04, 2006
And how does it work with Windowblinds?
on Feb 04, 2006
As a Microsoft partner, Stardock works with Microsoft pretty closely. Bear in mind that IE7 is still Beta, so there may be some issues, although none are apparent to me right off the bat.

If there are conflicts, they will be reported and resolved.
on Feb 04, 2006
So far no problems with any skins I have tried, both transparent i.e. Vista skins and non transparent, I have Thallos 1. converted to WB on at the moment, no problems, i realy do quite like it, it's free, and it can only get better. Jim
on Feb 04, 2006
I couldn't use it because it killed McAfee, but for it's own sake, it seemed pretty good. Nice, clean, intuitive UI, seemed much quicker than IE6 and on a par with Firefox. I'm sure that they'll work out the compatibility bugs, and when they do, it will give Firefox a run for the money with me.
on Feb 04, 2006
Bear in mind that IE7 is still Beta,

This should be kept in mind when comparing memory usage also! Since the exe was probably built with at least partial debugging left turned on it is probably using more memory than a fully optimized final build will.. Just a thought!
on Feb 04, 2006
I didn't have quiet as nice experience with it. I couldn't for some reason install additional search engines (I click the link and nothing happens), and toolbar customize also didn't work (I realize it's beta but it's still annoying). I did try it for a few days - it's definitely light years ahead of IE6 and there were couple of things there that I think they did a bit better than FF (although in both cases it is easily rectifiable with extensions). Overall, it didn't offer anything better than FireFox, and unless the folks at Microsoft have an ace up their sleeve, the final version isn't gonna change that. So until IE is actually better than, as oppose to "on par with" or "almost as good as" FF I'm sticking with FireFox.
on Feb 04, 2006
You are right, Kevin_C. I hadn't thought about the debug possibility. Thats why I asked for others to share their memory reads, too.

For more about McAfee and IE7 read Link

Security hole in IE7 reported at Link

"But browser testers may already be at risk, according to security researcher Tom Ferris. Late Tuesday, Ferris released details of a potential security flaw in IE 7. An attacker could exploit the flaw by crafting a special Web page that could be used to crash the browser or gain complete control of a vulnerable system, Ferris said in an advisory on his Web site.

Microsoft confirmed the security flaw and said it crashes IE, but is not exploitable by default to commandeer a PC, a company representative said on the IE team blog late Wednesday. The bug is scheduled to be fixed before the next public IE 7 release and was actually already found in Microsoft's own code review and analysis, the representative wrote. A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the authenticity of the blog post. "
on Feb 04, 2006
Whiterabbit007, I will probably continue to use two browsers for quite some time. I have a "professional" interest in software and need to stay current.

Again, IE7 is the browser that will ship with Vista.
on Feb 04, 2006
Anybody have problems with installation? It stopped at 50% and then froze my whole cpu. 3x in a row... Or is it just me.

XP Pro Service Pack 2
on Feb 04, 2006
I'm seeing an issue with it and WB...

The dropdown button in the address bar is not skinned.
on Feb 04, 2006
You said the interface is highly configurable? How so? Aside from the ability decide which of the "menu" items on the tab bar to show, and a couple minor things like the go button, it seems less configurable.
Also I couldn't find anywhere how to make a "thumbnail" view of tabs that are open.

I think though overall it is an improvement long overdue, though I like firefox too much to switch back.
on Feb 04, 2006

One AddOn crashed on me a few minutes into usage....[not one I added]...and inseting text into this window was as screwy as hell....became a guessing game as to what I'd actually typed.

This, however is typed in IE6.....I put 7 on my wife's machine.....less mission-critical....

This machine already has enough 'beta' software running....[not to mention Litestep as well]...

on Feb 04, 2006
No real problems so far...only whine I have is the verification process...had to use an "alternate method" due to my current browser config not compatible?!?!

Meowy is right...the address dropdown box isn't skinned...i hadn't actually even noticed, though.

@ Larry K - running w/ 2 tabs right now @ 42mb...not that bad.

I did notice earlier that an app (Isass) in my task manager spiked my cpu to 100% and would not let go! Had to close IE7 and restart probs since, though!
on Feb 04, 2006
hmm IE7 is a big improvement from IE6 but they don't offer anything that firefox does not have. So as I see it so far, I'll stick with my fox.
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