Microsoft to "Push" IE7 This Month

It’s Patch Tuesday, folks. And early speculations say Microsoft will be shipping out Internet Explorer 7 with today’s software updates. While MS has declined to confirm this, better check your update details whether IE7 is, indeed, included.

Last week, Security Fix mentioned that Microsoft intends to ship 11 patches tomorrow, including a “high-priority update.” According to a post on the company’s IE blog, that high-priority update could be IE7, a long overdue upgrade to IE 6 that includes new security features and other enhancements that most other Web browsers have long possessed. A Microsoft spokesperson declined to say whether IE7 would be released tomorrow, saying only that it would be released sometime this month.

I probably wouldn’t be too concerned, since I rarely use IE (except when doing online banking transactions, since my bank’s site uses ActiveX). But for the millions out there who still use IE as their primary browser, the added security that IE7 will supposedly feature is sure a welcome development.

IE 7 includes tabbed browsing, built in RSS feeds, as well as tools to help users spot phishing Web sites that mimic banks and trusted e-commerce companies to steal personal and financial data. The new IE also shores up some weaknesses in ActiveX, a feature designed to help Web sites load interactive content.

However, one of IE 7’s most useful security features, a protected mode — billed as a “containment wall” to prevent the browser from installing software or changing computer settings without the user’s consent — will not be available for XP users. That feature will be reserved for users who upgrade to Windows Vista, the next version of the operating system, due in January.

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