August 24, 2006 9:00 AM PDT

Microsoft moves closer to new browser release

Microsoft on Thursday issued what it hopes will be the last test version of Internet Explorer 7 before the new browser is released later this year.

As the company has with recent beta versions, the near-final Release Candidate 1 version is being made available for free download, though users are required to confirm they are running a legitimately purchased version of Windows.

"The purpose of RC1 is to get the latest release out to the developer community so they can continue to test their sites...as we get closer and closer to final release," said Margaret Cobb, group product manager for IE.

Cobb said that Microsoft hopes RC1 will be its last test version, but she said that a second release candidate could be added, depending on the feedback the company receives.

"That would be our hope, that this is the last one before we release," Cobb said. Microsoft released the third beta version of the software in June.

The final version of IE7 for Windows XP is due to be released in the fourth quarter, with the new browser also being built into Windows Vista, which is slated to be made broadly available in January. Among the key enhancements are tabbed browsing, security enhancements and better compatibility with Web standards. It is the company's first major new browser release in years.

In part because of the security changes, Microsoft plans to push out IE7 as a "high-priority" update to Windows XP. The company is also releasing a tool that will allow businesses to block the upgrade if they wish.

On the surface, the new release candidate doesn't look that much different from the Beta 3 version, though Microsoft said it adds new bug fixes and performance improvements. Microsoft is also adding French- and Spanish-language versions of the browser.

One added touch is that installing the browser now removes earlier test versions. In the past, users had to manually uninstall prior IE7 installations before they could upgrade to a new version.

See more CNET content tagged:
test version, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, candidate, Web browser, Microsoft Corp.

23 comments

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If is such a "high priority security update"...
Then why can they not allow us to completely remove IE altogether?
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
one word
Can you say "monopoly"?

Face it, if we could really remove IE from OUR systems we would.
No one with half a brain feels safe using that pile of garbage. So
how do you keep a presence in a market when your product is
absolute garbage? FORCE IT UPON THEM BY CALLING IT A
SECURITY UPDATE!!

If M$ was really concerned about your security, they would push
FireFox out as a security update. (Not trying to start a flame war
here - FF isn't perfect either. Until you compare it to IE, that is:))
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft makes Browsers? Really?
How innovative.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
didnt u know dat ???
Dont u know IE has nearly 75 to 80 percent market share of browsers ?????

I dont know how come if u dont have brains, u can get dat type of market share.
Posted by tomal_rocks (7 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe thats because they discontinued it.
It is the company's first major new browser release in years.

In case nobody noticed, Internet Explorer was discontinued years
ago. The Unix version disappeared in mid-2002, the Mac version
was discontinued in June 03 (and is furthermore unsupported as
of 1/1/2006), and the Windows version got the axe in July 03.
At that time, Microsoft announced WinIE was being replaced with
a new, truly OS-based browser (unlike IE, which CAN be
uninstalled, if you try hard enough and are willing to make a
LOT of concessions, once its gone) in its place, thus putting the
nail in its coffin.

In other words, maybe the reason its Microsofts first major
release in years is because they didnt plan to EVER release IE7;
they were just forced to, when Windows 2003 got pushed back
to 2011 (so far) and even their half-baked substitute, Windows
Vista got pushed back to 2007.

Just use a real (read: standards-compliant) browser. Youll thank
me for it.
Posted by the Otter (247 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE 6
works just fine for me. I access lots of ASP content and FF does not work with well with it.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
PGP
i have downloaded it and it kills my PGP keys everytime - they need to fix this our it will not be used
Posted by cma299 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
that's not a bug
It's a feature.

What, you thought IE and security fit together in the same
sentence? Maybe it does - "the browser with the most SECURITY
problems is without a doubt IE."

M$ doesn't want you to be secure - they want you to bend over and
take it like a dog.
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
PGP
MS probably want to use people to use their security solutions, screw all the other Vendors and PGP.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Link Flag
Bill Gates was right
He was once quoted for saying that the average user will use whatever program or feature that you include with the operating system. He intergrated IE into windows and no only users, but developers use it.

So, he was right....Is this the apocalypse? What's next, exploding laptops?

Wait, don't we have those?

Oh well, I got my basket picked out and everything.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE7 is irrelevant
Like Vista, it is nothing but a poor copy of what others have been doing that past few years.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow
the MS hate on this site. In a year there will be more IE7 users than FF users...especially when Vista rolls....as its the defualt browser.

MOST people think about what browser they are using as much as they think about what brand of oil to use in their car.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Just like Firefox!
yup. They are all designed and built by humans. You aliens can complain all you want but we humans design imperfect products, just like ourselves.
Posted by v_noronha (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Simple
Seriously, I've tested many versions of this, and all I ever see every time is slight improvements. I see decent ideas, but nothing that shouldn't have already been there. A browser isn't that difficult to code, it's all the plugins and addins that they are adding to the browser. I think that at times that may conflict with the browser being able to do it's primary function.
Posted by _kaster_ (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
MS inches forward, others make leaps and bounds forward.
The systems I work on for a living run BSD, AIX, Solaris, NetWare (still going!), Linux of course and the occasional Apple OS desktop/laptop. There have been so many innovative changes to all these platforms. Yet networks based on Microsoft technologies have been stagnant for years. I asked an MSCE one day if he was bored with his work, I would find it terribly boring to work in such a stale environment. But he reminded me of the never ending excitement he has when his servers are hacked, his Exchange system regresses to a Virus Exchange with LookOut clients, and of course rarely 6 months passes by where a patch from Microsoft brings his network to its knees.

He then tells me about all the new features his IE7 beta has, rather stupidly I might add. All of these things Ive been using with Mozilla products for years. And these are solid production products, not betas that have compatibility and on-going security issues.

If you look at IT from a worldly perspective youll see a fundamental shift of IT away from Microsoft reliance happening on a large scale. But here in the US we are sadly losing out on our IT lead in the world by sticking to a dieing breed called Microsoft. It reminds me of a 58 year old technician working here who is still thinking though problems as if it were 20 years ago and this firm was on a mainframe.
Posted by extinctone (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE 7 = Dead Meat in Mud
IE 7 is indicative of a brain-damaged company staggering to its end with its pants around its ankles and its tongue waving in the wind.

If Vista performs like IE 7, MS stock price will be halved inside a week of its release. This is pathetic.

No company can exhibit staggering incompetence day and day out year after year without consequences.
Posted by Sumatra-Bosch (526 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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