It looks as though Microsoft will be releasing IE 7 for Windows XP later this year. This differs from the original plan which was to have it only included with Vista. The beta (which was also included in the Beta 1 of Vista) is now also separately in the hands of testers.
Some important features (which either exist now or will exist) include:
- various security improvements (most in code, but also including an anti-phishing feature similar to what’s in the new Netscape browser)
- tabbed browsing (like Mozilla, Maxthon, Opera, Netscape, and Firefox)
- RSS 1.0/2.0 and Atom 0.3 (like Mozilla and the others)
- search field to the right of the URL field (like Mozilla and the others)
- and more?
All in all it doesn’t appear that IE 7 breaks any new ground with this release, so much as it catches up to all the other browsers which have continually released updates/improvements. But, that said, on some level it’s only a browser, and as long as the rendering is improved (from a performance, standards, and security standpoint) then that’s enough for me. I can rely upon thirdparties to add features. The best example of this (in my experience/opinion) has been Maxthon which adds to IE far more than IE 7; it even allows you to use IE or Mozilla for rendering page content (which the Netscape browser does too, though their approach is I think primarily related to security/compatibility).
And, a minor note since some have inquired. We do intend to feature more general interest (non-Microsoft) articles/etc. We are about more than just Microsoft/Windows. The reality, though, is that 99%+ of our users are Windows users looking for Windows drivers, so Microsoft/Windows stories are extremely relevant to most people here, and therefore will always make up most of the news we post. But, we also do want to be inclusive. We at DriverGuide are by no means exclusively Windows users. Our staff daily use Linux, FreeBSD, OSX, and Windows. So, don’t forget if you’ve got news you think we should post, let us know!