On October 18th Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP. The final version can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/ie .
The Group Manager, Dean Hachamovitch says “We listened carefully to feedback from many sources and worked hard to deliver a safer browser that makes everyday tasks easier. When I first posted publicly about IE7, I wrote that we would go further to defend users from phishing and malicious software. The Phishing Filter and the architectural work in IE7 around networking and ActiveX opt-in will help keep users more secure. IE7 also delivers a much easier browsing experience with features like tabbed browsing (especially with QuickTabs), shrink-to-fit printing, an easily customizable search box, and a new design that leaves more screen real estate for the web site you’re viewing. IE7’s CSS improvements are incredibly important for developers as many of you have made quite clear. I also think IE7’s RSS experience and platform are important, powerful, and innovative.”
I am downloading the latest version now. But i really dont think it will be very different from the release candidate :).
I had earlier posted an entry on IE7 Beta 3 release on my blog. Many of my friends came back with many criticisms on how Microsoft was trying to emulate the capabilities of Firefox in IE 7.
I agree to the fact that Microsoft has indeed brought in some good features into IE 7 that Firefox already has like tabbed browsing, page zoom in-out etc. But Microsoft would have realized that these are pretty good features and any browser must have these features, so that it enhances the whole browsing experience for a user. So it was quite obvious as to why they put in these features in IE 7.
I have to say that I am indeed quite impressed with the work Microsoft has done on IE 7. The Beta bits surely look promising. The RSS reader/subscription feature, for me is the crucial differentiator. For people like me who like to read various blogs, this feature can be really helpful. Integration of RSS reader into the browser was indeed something that I thought would come up sooner or later, and it did. Now I am really curious to have a look at what the Windows RSS platform has to offer. IE 7 also gives the feature to update these feeds automatically or manually.
The RSS functionality in IE7 is “powered” by the Windows RSS Platform. The Windows RSS Platform API encapsulates 3 main components: Common Feed List, Feed Synchronization Engine, and Feed Store.The Windows RSS Platform would be available for Windows Vista.It will also be available as part of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows XP 64-bit.
The Windows RSS Platform is available to any application. The idea is that applications can utilize the Windows RSS Platform to become RSS enabled without having to re-implement basic RSS building blocks. This can significantly reduce the time and effort application developers have to invest in order to integrate RSS into their programs.
Here’s what the Windows RSS Platform provides for developers:
- Support for every major RSS and Atom format, as well as many popular extensions.
- Background scheduled updates.
- Support for server-friendly technologies like conditional GETs and RFC 3229 for feeds.
- Bandwidth-friendly enclosure downloads using Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
- API exposing a simple object model for feeds as well as direct access to the raw XML stream.
All of this functionality is available as shared technology as part of IE7 on Windows Vista and down-level. As a developer, including RSS support in your application can be amazingly easy.
Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 is now available for download and includes improvements in reliability, compatibility, user features, and security. Although Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 was layout complete, based on customer feedback, Microsoft has made some additional changes to the look and feel of the browser. Beta 3 allows users to add the e-mail button back to the toolbar, enables users to reorder the tabs by dragging them to the left or right, and enables horizontal scrolling while zooming.
To improve the RSS experience, Internet Explorer 7 now allows users to update all their RSS feeds automatically. In addition, the user has more control in marking their RSS feeds as “READ.”
In addition, Beta 3 contains all the security fixes addressed in the June Internet Explorer Security Bulletin MS06-021.