After trying out Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) Beta 1 for the past couple of months. At that time, the software was never a release to the public and at times, often sought for by computer geeks and enthusiasts. About three days ago, Microsoft decides to release the Beta 2 version of their very own Internet Explorer to the public for preview release. This move has tactically capture the hugh bulk of Window users and hardly anyone who surfs the internet would be ignorant of the “international-wide” release.
Compared to the previous Beta 1 version, Microsoft’s IE Beta 2 delivers minimal change, but several major new features were included after IE version 6. These new features (present in Beta 1) include tabbed browsing, toolbar-integrated search box as well as RSS support (limited).
Microsoft’s IE version 7 gas so much more compact and steamlined interface, placing strong emphasis on dedicating much of the window as possible to the displayed Web site As such, the usual icons were somehow smaller in size, and the toolbar was below the icons, making it unfamiliar to users. Included along with the pre-beta release are a number of security upgrades, such as antiphishing filter.
Familar to users of Mozilla’s Firefox, tabbed-browsing in IE (known as Quick Tabs) provides an at-a-glance thumbnail view of all open tabs in a single window.
Other improvement from Microsoft is the sidebar area of the Internet Explorer, which has been renamed as Favorites Center, which now includes Favorites, Tab Groups, Browsing History, and RSS Feed Subscriptions. In addition, IE7 automatically shrinks a Web page to fit the paper you’re printing to. Similar to the Opera browser, IE7 also offers full-page zoom, which can scale up or down the size of both text and graphics on any Web page.
Along with added feature enhancement, IE7 includes address bar protection, ActiveX opt-in, security status bar and various security improvements. As IE 7 is expected to appear in Windows Vista, the next generation of Windows (after Windows XP), Windows users may find it quite promising to expect a much better release in Windows Vista when the product is available, except for the fact Microsoft took much longer to release the next version of Windows, compared with migration from Windows 2000 to Windows XP.
As the name persists, this Beta 2 version of IE is still yet to be the final release, and henceforth, it may require additional patches and testing before it is comformed to be bug-free during its release. On an important note, this software is ONLY compatible with Windows XP Service Pack 2. If you do not have SP2 installed, then you can forget about trying it.
If you are interested in playing around with IE 7, you may download the file here. Alternatively, note that this is a beta version, and it is not recommended to install it on your usual work machine.