Just now Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview for Windows XP sp2 to the web. Yesterday I had a phone conversation with Margeret Cobb, Group Program Manager of IE. She informed me about the new cool stuff that is in the Beta. Vista users may have seen some of it already.
This major release is intended for developers, early adapters and enthausiatics, Beta 1 was a closed Beta available to MSDN subscribers only, said Margaret.
This release is Beta 2 Preview and so not Beta 2, which should be released about the same time as Vista Beta 2 is released somewhere in April.
New is the RSS platform in IE7 is more then just a feed reader, this platform provides rich functionality for downloading, storing and accessing RSS feeds across the entire operating system and will enable more users to take advantage of RSS-related innovation. Support for the Windows RSS Platform means that once a user subscribes to a feed in one application, that subscription and all the associated content will be made available across the operating system to any application available to make use of it.
As you all know, IE 7 supports tabbed browsing, but there is more:
Quick Tabs, this feature is designed to make tab selection and navigation fast and easy. After opening multiple tabs, users can view and manage them with an at-a-glance thumbnail view in a single window.
Tab Groups, This feature allows tabs to be grouped and saved in logical categories. Further, users can open all pages within a group with a single click, saving them time in opening pages they visit regularly. Users can even set a tab group to open automatically every time they launch Internet Explorer from the Start menu, so the pages they want open are displayed as soon as they open the browser
The Phising Filter is in my opinion a great feature, OK I know when I receive a phishing email, but my dad does not. With this filter my dad hopefully gets educated whithout calling me all the time. Though Margaret Cobb told me the phishing technology is not changed since SP1, I asked why on Vista Dec CTP my site comes up as a suspiciuos website, while IE 7 beta 1 says my is is OK, which it is ;-) She couldn't answer that right away but will check it with the Phishing team.
The new printing center is according to Margaret the most popular new feature, now IE finally can print a webpage right, without words falling of on the right. But there is even more, in page preview you can set the margins and even zoom and get it all printed. You can see multiple pages in print preview so you can see that you won't need to print the last page cause it only contains a footer,or choose not to print header andf foorter in the first place.Also New is to select a part of a page and print just that.
What I personally like is the Zoom feature, there is a button on the right side of the status bar where you can zoom the page you are currentlt viewing, it enlarges text and images. This used to possible in IE by changing the text size in the View menu, but since CSS this didn't fo the trick.
OK there is more,• Cross-domain script barriers. This feature limits the ability of Web page script to interact with content from other domains or windows to help users keep their personal information out of potentially malicious hands.
• Delete Browsing History. The Delete Browsing History option extends better protection to user privacy and passwords.
• International Domain Name Anti-Spoofing. In addition to adding support for International Domain Names in URLs, Internet Explorer 7 also notifies the user when similar characters in the URL are not expressed in the same language — even when the characters look similar across several languages — thus helping protect the user against sites that would otherwise appear as a known trustworthy site.
• Fix My Settings. Helping prevent users from browsing with unsafe settings, Internet Explorer 7 warns users with an Information Bar when current security settings may put them at risk. Within the security settings window, users will see settings highlighted in red when they modify certain critical items. In addition to dialog alerts warning the user about unsafe settings, the user will be reminded by the Information Bar as long as the settings remain unsafe.
• ActiveX Opt-In. This is a malware protection feature that disables nearly all pre-installed ActiveX® Controls, and helps prevent potentially vulnerable controls from being exposed to attack.
• Favorites Center. A newly designed panel offers Internet Explorer 7 users fast, easy access to Favorites, Tab Groups, Browsing History and RSS feed subscriptions
• CSS improvements. Cascading style sheets (CSS) is a widely used standard for creating Web pages. Internet Explorer 7 addresses some of the significant inconsistencies that can cause problems for Web developers who are trying to produce rich, interactive Web pages. Improved support for CSS 2.1 includes selectors and fixed positioning to allow Web developers to create more powerful effects without the use of script.
• Transparent PNG support. This supports Alpha channel transparency within the PNG image format, popular among developers, resulting in rich and exceptional-looking Web sites that are easy to build.
• OpenSearch Extensions. In conjunction with Amazon’s A9 subsidiary, Microsoft submitted an updated version of the OpenSearch standard to the search and RSS communities, which was released under the Creative Commons license.
Now check out to www.microsoft.com/ie and download Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview for Windows XP SP2 ! Direct Download: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/ie7betaredirect.mspx