IE7 Beta 2 Released to the Public - Preview

That’s right, the second beta of the next major update to Internet Explorer has been released. And I’m going to tell you the good and bad about it.

First the good.

I’m probably going to be flamed for saying this but IE7 is pretty, there I’ve said it. My father has just started learning about computers, and I showed him Internet Explorer a few days ago, when he came around while I was testing this Beta he asked what program it was and bragged it’s looks.

This is the look of the Window with a few tabs open:

The new tab button is a small tab itself, placed on the right of all the tabs. I’ve read some thoughts on people criticizing this, but I don’t really understand why. The place where it’s situated makes sense, the Icon makes sense also and one of IE’s goal is to try and be as intuitive as possible.

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Thinking about the new users Microsoft also added a button that imitates one of Firefox’s plugins by showing a page with thumbnails of all the open tabs with a vertical scroll-bar on the right:

Another feature borrowed from Firefox is the search box on the top right. By default it uses MSN Search (with no other search engines on the list) however, by clicking on the get Search Providers on the drop menu when you press the little arrow next to it you can add most popular search engines like Yahoo and Google.

Also, Microsoft gives you the code to enable search engines automatically for IE7 (like Firefox does), all you have to do is add: window.external.AddSearchProvider(‘URL’) in which URL points to an OpenSearch document.

Finally, the next “big” feature of IE7 is it’s RSS handling. Even though IE7 won’t replace the current Feed Readers as it is Microsoft did a pretty good job with it. When you open any RSS feed, IE7 will automatically render it with a nice presentation and if you don’t have the feed on your feeds list will ask if you want to add it. On the right, you also have a menu which lets you organize the articles by title, date and author. You can even filter by articles by category and search the articles “realtime” (there’s no submit button, it searches as you type).

Without Firefox’s extensions ability IE7 is still no match for it in terms of functionality. But for your average Joe IE7 is shaping up to be the right browser to use in terms of easiness and simple looks.

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