The release version of Internet Explorer 7 is now available for download. The final version has improved since the early CTP versions. Compared to IE6, it has RSS support, page zooming (compared to the text zoom in Firefox and Safari), faster JScript engine and other stuff you expect of any modern browser. Another good thing are the add-ons.

With a brand new UI for IE7 and Office, Microsoft has chosen a bold path. Even though I don’t fancy all of the improvements, I appreciate the giant effort put in by the development team.

The big thing for developers is the improved CSS support. We got the a list from Markus Mielke several months ago. In short, large parts of CSS 2.1 has been implemented, including alpha transparency support for png images and more. Microsoft have also got rid of several infamous hacks along the way. Things are looking good, even though there are some strange behavior here and there.

Sp now it’s time to get to work. The CSS support is still not up to the levels of Firefox, but a big improvement when compared to the horrors in IE6 where you needed a dictionary to remember all hacks to make it work. For instance, the infamous box model has been updated to adhere to the CSS2.1 specification. Also, since IE7 still supports quirks mode, the damage to old hacks will most likely not be as severe as previously feared.

Unfortunately, it’s not time to throw out the hacks just yet. If you feel the need, please use conditional comments to detect IE versions. You will have to have multiple style sheets, but hey, it could be worse.

Example of conditional comments:

<!–[if gt IE 6]> <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”ie7.css”/> <![endif]–> <!–[if lte IE 6]> <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”ie6.css”/> <![endif]–> <![if !IE]> <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”coolbrowsers.css”/> <![endif]>

Remember that a lot of users will stay with IE6, even after IE7 gets pushed out by Windows Update.

If you want to run IE6 and IE7 together, one way is to first install IE7 (this will overwrite the existing IE6) and then install a stand-alone version of IE6 from However, this solution could lead to issues with conditional comments, since the stand-alone version thinks it is IE7. Another way is to install IE6 on a virtual server.


No comments yet.

Leave a reply