IE7 Beta has landed
Yesterday, Microsoft released a beta of the Vista OS (previously known as Longhorn), and with it came something perhaps even more interesting: the first public beta version of IE7. Since the success story known as Firefox began to roam and roll over the territories once owned by landlord Microsoft, the guys at Redmond woke up and started to mention tidbits such as tabs, RSS and increased CSS support for the upcoming version. Now that it’s here, let’s have a look.
The first thing that comes to mind is the change in user interface. The new toolbar layout has been severely stripped and comes equipped with only two huge buttons for back and forward browsing, and the MSN search bar is located in top right corner as default. And then this tab business. Yes, it got tab support, but it looks kind of strange. Next to the current tab is a blank square, which will open a new tab if you click on it. The pull-down menu from the top has been placed inside the tab along with the other familiar icons such as Home and Favorites.
There’s also things such as PNG transparency, phishing filters and a RSS reader, but what I really wanted in IE7 was the CSS improvements. Did they fix the border issues, line-height bug, fixed position, the extra 3px border space and other horrible things (have a look at Explorer Exposed for instance)?
At least we got an alpha channel after four years of suspended development. But hey, it’s a beta, right? Things can only get better. I don’t think Firefox users will switch back in the near future, but IE7 will definitely make the lives easier for us who work with web development. If you want to install IE7 and try it for yourself, beware that it completely replaces IE6. Which means that you won’t be able to test multiple versions of IE on one system for developing purposes, unless you use the Joe Maddalone technique.