June 8, 2005 5:07 PM PDT

Microsoft offers tabbed browsing--in IE 6

Weeks after promising tabs in its upcoming IE 7 release, Microsoft made the long-awaited browsing feature available for IE 6 through its MSN toolbar.

With the version of MSN Search Toolbar made available Wednesday, IE 6 gains the ability to open numerous Web pages within a single window, each selectable by a small tab at the top of the window.

The feature--long offered by IE competitors like Opera, Safari and Firefox, and by browser shells built to run on top of IE--is one of many that Web surfers have said they missed in the aging IE 6.

IE has not had a major feature upgrade in more than three years. Last month, Microsoft confirmed speculation that it would offer tabbed browsing in the upcoming IE 7.

Microsoft was not immediately available to comment on the new toolbar.

The MSN toolbar tabs for IE 6 were first reported by BetaNews.

Microsoft in November raised the possibility of updating IE 6's features through add-ons like the toolbar, though it disavowed any specific plans to do so.

96 comments

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NO. No no no.
Absolutely not. This is NOT how you go about implementing a widely-desired feature. You do NOT add it to a Search toolbar extension.

Microsoft, when are you going to learn where to place enhancements in your browser and operating system?!
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes yes yes
If people want a new feature enough you bring it out in the new version. If they still complain you can bring it out in an addon in the interim.
Of course people will whinge if they get it and whinge if they don't.
Posted by (79 comments )
Link Flag
NO. No no no.
Absolutely not. This is NOT how you go about implementing a widely-desired feature. You do NOT add it to a Search toolbar extension.

Microsoft, when are you going to learn where to place enhancements in your browser and operating system?!
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes yes yes
If people want a new feature enough you bring it out in the new version. If they still complain you can bring it out in an addon in the interim.
Of course people will whinge if they get it and whinge if they don't.
Posted by (79 comments )
Link Flag
Still not Firefox
I've tested the MSN Toolbar Tabs and it's still in beta as far as I'm concerned. You can't right click on a link and pick 'open in new tab'....

Your still left with tons of ie6 windows open...not tabs. Sorry M$....try again.

Hey...maybe this time you should download firefox and pay attention to how it implements this feature...then copy it! It's not like you havent done it before.
Posted by SvnX (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still not Firefox
I've tested the MSN Toolbar Tabs and it's still in beta as far as I'm concerned. You can't right click on a link and pick 'open in new tab'....

Your still left with tons of ie6 windows open...not tabs. Sorry M$....try again.

Hey...maybe this time you should download firefox and pay attention to how it implements this feature...then copy it! It's not like you havent done it before.
Posted by SvnX (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Big deal! Worth a story? Probably not!
Give me real news please.
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Glad they did...
Glad they did, otherwise I wouldn't have known about it.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Link Flag
Big deal! Worth a story? Probably not!
Give me real news please.
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Glad they did...
Glad they did, otherwise I wouldn't have known about it.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Link Flag
nice move
Its a good, late move. Anyway its worth a million not a billion. But we are forced to use MSN Toolbar...
Posted by kiruthik (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
nice move
Its a good, late move. Anyway its worth a million not a billion. But we are forced to use MSN Toolbar...
Posted by kiruthik (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You can't polish a turd
Until the underlying structure gets completely rebuilt from the ground up, they can polish it all they want, but it is still crap.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You can't polish a turd
Until the underlying structure gets completely rebuilt from the ground up, they can polish it all they want, but it is still crap.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Reply Link Flag
NYET
I am NOT using a Microsoft toolbar. I am already using a Google toolbar to search and to block pop-ups. One toolbar is enough. In the meanwhile, I'm using Avant browser which is one of those IE clones with improved features. Lets me disable those annoying flash ads and opens links in a new tab in the background by pressing the center mouse button. That way I can go down a page of links (like on a CNET news site) pop open all the stories I want in the background with one click, then start reading at my leisure. So, a browser like that gives me all I want with an IE engine underneath. Microsoft could do that right now, too. After all, they gave us Windows built on top of DOS. They could give us IE 6.5 built on top of IE 6, just like Avant has done.
Posted by ChazzMatt (169 comments )
Reply Link Flag
NYET
I am NOT using a Microsoft toolbar. I am already using a Google toolbar to search and to block pop-ups. One toolbar is enough. In the meanwhile, I'm using Avant browser which is one of those IE clones with improved features. Lets me disable those annoying flash ads and opens links in a new tab in the background by pressing the center mouse button. That way I can go down a page of links (like on a CNET news site) pop open all the stories I want in the background with one click, then start reading at my leisure. So, a browser like that gives me all I want with an IE engine underneath. Microsoft could do that right now, too. After all, they gave us Windows built on top of DOS. They could give us IE 6.5 built on top of IE 6, just like Avant has done.
Posted by ChazzMatt (169 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is awful
I recently installed the toolbar.

1. It doesn't let me choose if I want to install the indexing service (I already have google desktop running)

2. The tab feature seems unstable. Each time you open a new tab my screen goes blank for a second, and the taskbar menu reference suddenly changes (apparently the folks at MS are still opening up new IE windows when you create a tab, they're just hiding them now)

I opted to uninstall. I'll continue to use Firefox for the time being.
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"I'll continue to use Firefox for the time being"
Why? Because it's far superior?

What the hell is it with some of you people?

The majority of people around the world either don't know how to install sofware, don't care about security vulnerabilities, features, etc., or maybe they don't even know what a browser is in the first place.

So count them out. That's about 70% of the web population right there, for Microsoft to count on their side even though they didn't choose them.

But for you to come out and say you'll use Firefox "for the time being"?!

Are you insane?

You're unbelievable. I don't care if actually have a legitimate reason to keep using IE - Firefox has given you hundreds of reasons to never switch back to IE again.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Link Flag
This is awful
I recently installed the toolbar.

1. It doesn't let me choose if I want to install the indexing service (I already have google desktop running)

2. The tab feature seems unstable. Each time you open a new tab my screen goes blank for a second, and the taskbar menu reference suddenly changes (apparently the folks at MS are still opening up new IE windows when you create a tab, they're just hiding them now)

I opted to uninstall. I'll continue to use Firefox for the time being.
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"I'll continue to use Firefox for the time being"
Why? Because it's far superior?

What the hell is it with some of you people?

The majority of people around the world either don't know how to install sofware, don't care about security vulnerabilities, features, etc., or maybe they don't even know what a browser is in the first place.

So count them out. That's about 70% of the web population right there, for Microsoft to count on their side even though they didn't choose them.

But for you to come out and say you'll use Firefox "for the time being"?!

Are you insane?

You're unbelievable. I don't care if actually have a legitimate reason to keep using IE - Firefox has given you hundreds of reasons to never switch back to IE again.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Link Flag
That's Innovation!
Microsoft is dead in the water.

Imagine 2007 when Apple is fully converted to Intel chips and
released Leopard......

(1) Microsoft releases its long awaited Longhorn OS directly
adjacent to the release of Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, which will
(hopefully) run Windows apps with little or no performance hits.

(2) Longhorn fails to excite as much enthusiasm as the most
casual Windows guy hoped, but rather is plagued with the same
security issues as XP, and has an ugly GUI (from the looks of it
now).

(3) Leopard is touted even more highly than Tiger by the
mainstream press, and has a shockingly beautiful GUI, nearly
perfect security, and excellent stability. To boot, it will run
Windows applications and MS Office.

(4) Apple somehow has prices remotely comparable to the
mainstream PC makers (hey, we can hope!), and the GHz is the
same, if not faster.

(5) Seeing the clear advantage, millions of PC users switch to
Mac, who are so impressed and happy that they tell all their
friends about it...

What will happen to Microsoft, and conversely... what will
happen to Apple? THAT will be a show.

If our dreams come true, will it really matter that most of Apple's
computers are 32-bit? They probably won't be 32-bit by '07
anyway.
Posted by 198775425444042216790779840523 (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You forgot the punch line
...and Microsoft buy Apple...
Posted by P_F_M (61 comments )
Link Flag
It 's possible
...and I hope you are right. Apple will have a greater chance of surviving then. Personally I think Apple will lock MacOS X to AppTel hardware and will not provide Windows compatability. Thus nothing will change except Apple will at last be able to produce new laptops.

Incidently, I have never seen the point in a "shockingly beautiful GUI". I still use Win2K as it is stable and it works. To me simple functionality is beauty. (I am a plain colour kind of guy!)
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Just dreams...
Macs are already 64 bit, and have been for several generations.

Most PC users do not think, at least about the merits of their
operating system. Ol' Bill says that WIndows is the best, so who
are the users to argue?

MS's market share is built upon the backs of the complacent.
The true qualities of Windows are irrelevant. Marketing has
totally overwhelmed technical judgement. So what's new ???? ;-)
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
That's Innovation!
Microsoft is dead in the water.

Imagine 2007 when Apple is fully converted to Intel chips and
released Leopard......

(1) Microsoft releases its long awaited Longhorn OS directly
adjacent to the release of Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, which will
(hopefully) run Windows apps with little or no performance hits.

(2) Longhorn fails to excite as much enthusiasm as the most
casual Windows guy hoped, but rather is plagued with the same
security issues as XP, and has an ugly GUI (from the looks of it
now).

(3) Leopard is touted even more highly than Tiger by the
mainstream press, and has a shockingly beautiful GUI, nearly
perfect security, and excellent stability. To boot, it will run
Windows applications and MS Office.

(4) Apple somehow has prices remotely comparable to the
mainstream PC makers (hey, we can hope!), and the GHz is the
same, if not faster.

(5) Seeing the clear advantage, millions of PC users switch to
Mac, who are so impressed and happy that they tell all their
friends about it...

What will happen to Microsoft, and conversely... what will
happen to Apple? THAT will be a show.

If our dreams come true, will it really matter that most of Apple's
computers are 32-bit? They probably won't be 32-bit by '07
anyway.
Posted by 198775425444042216790779840523 (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You forgot the punch line
...and Microsoft buy Apple...
Posted by P_F_M (61 comments )
Link Flag
It 's possible
...and I hope you are right. Apple will have a greater chance of surviving then. Personally I think Apple will lock MacOS X to AppTel hardware and will not provide Windows compatability. Thus nothing will change except Apple will at last be able to produce new laptops.

Incidently, I have never seen the point in a "shockingly beautiful GUI". I still use Win2K as it is stable and it works. To me simple functionality is beauty. (I am a plain colour kind of guy!)
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Just dreams...
Macs are already 64 bit, and have been for several generations.

Most PC users do not think, at least about the merits of their
operating system. Ol' Bill says that WIndows is the best, so who
are the users to argue?

MS's market share is built upon the backs of the complacent.
The true qualities of Windows are irrelevant. Marketing has
totally overwhelmed technical judgement. So what's new ???? ;-)
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Question
Ok, here's a question... is it possible to get links from outside IE (like Outlook) to open in a single instance of IE with new tabs?

This is the biggest reason I wasn't compelled to move to Firefox, didn't offer me anything new and required me to learn new key combinations. (No debate about how IE's key commands aren't standard, I'll grant you that point.)

Avant has this feature, but it's had a single shortcoming its entire life that's prevented me from using it. Which I don't get if it's an IE shell... IE can do it, but Avant can't.

Anyhow, I was digressing. But seriously, if someone could kindly respond if they know a way to force all outside links to open in the same already open instance, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Avant usually can
Look under Tools | Avant Browser Options | Files & Protocols. Make sure they're all checkmarked. There's also another option hidden somewhere else, but I forget where. (They know at Avant Forum). About the only thing I can't do with Avant is Windows Update - which probably never will (too MS specific).
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
Link Flag
Firefox
I have no trouble clinking on a outside link and it opens in a new tab in my current browse windows.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
Question
Ok, here's a question... is it possible to get links from outside IE (like Outlook) to open in a single instance of IE with new tabs?

This is the biggest reason I wasn't compelled to move to Firefox, didn't offer me anything new and required me to learn new key combinations. (No debate about how IE's key commands aren't standard, I'll grant you that point.)

Avant has this feature, but it's had a single shortcoming its entire life that's prevented me from using it. Which I don't get if it's an IE shell... IE can do it, but Avant can't.

Anyhow, I was digressing. But seriously, if someone could kindly respond if they know a way to force all outside links to open in the same already open instance, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Avant usually can
Look under Tools | Avant Browser Options | Files & Protocols. Make sure they're all checkmarked. There's also another option hidden somewhere else, but I forget where. (They know at Avant Forum). About the only thing I can't do with Avant is Windows Update - which probably never will (too MS specific).
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
Link Flag
Firefox
I have no trouble clinking on a outside link and it opens in a new tab in my current browse windows.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
*yawns* Patch job...
This is for everyone who KNOWS MS is screwing you because you aren't on XP. Be sure to lube up first. K? In the mean time I will stick with the non hack job that is FireFox.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
*yawns* Patch job...
This is for everyone who KNOWS MS is screwing you because you aren't on XP. Be sure to lube up first. K? In the mean time I will stick with the non hack job that is FireFox.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I hope the IE7 version works better.
I've just tried the MSN Searchbar for the tabs in IE and was dissapointed. There are no options to setup how and when new tabs are opened. It is nowhere near as good as Firefox's tab interface. Nice try MSN but it still needs work.
Posted by Rocker452 (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ditto...
No where near as nice as the tabs in Firefox. If you right click a link, it don't even offer you the option of opening it in a new tab, only a new window. I don't even think this is even truely "Tabbed browing". When you switch between tabs, the window and startbar flashes and then changes. I think all it does is opens them in new windows, but hides them and the tabs are nothing but links to the new windows. So what's the point in that?
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Link Flag
I hope the IE7 version works better.
I've just tried the MSN Searchbar for the tabs in IE and was dissapointed. There are no options to setup how and when new tabs are opened. It is nowhere near as good as Firefox's tab interface. Nice try MSN but it still needs work.
Posted by Rocker452 (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ditto...
No where near as nice as the tabs in Firefox. If you right click a link, it don't even offer you the option of opening it in a new tab, only a new window. I don't even think this is even truely "Tabbed browing". When you switch between tabs, the window and startbar flashes and then changes. I think all it does is opens them in new windows, but hides them and the tabs are nothing but links to the new windows. So what's the point in that?
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Link Flag
Yes you can open up links as new tabs
You said you couldn't do this. So, I right-clicked on a link in your post, and up popped the menu with two choices, one for opening up a tab in the foreground, and one in the background. I tried it, and it works.
Posted by Ian Easson (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes you can open up links as new tabs
You said you couldn't do this. So, I right-clicked on a link in your post, and up popped the menu with two choices, one for opening up a tab in the foreground, and one in the background. I tried it, and it works.
Posted by Ian Easson (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tabbed Broswing&
I don't see why people would want such a feature (though I would call it a pestulance, and would immediately seek to turn it off).
Posted by bigjim01 (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why?
Because my task bar either (a) gets too filled up with IE tasks, or (b) all these tasks get consolidated into one button that's a pain to work with. That's why I went to Avant years ago. (I tried Firefox - for some reason it would go into Tab mode only when it felt like it, which it rarely did).
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
Link Flag
Ignorant
You obviously haven't used tabs. The first time I heard about it and actually saw it was about a year and a half ago.

I was like, "what the hell do I need that for?"

And then I actually gave it a try. Now I don't have 20 IE Windows sitting on my taskbar. I have about 30 Firefox tabs open sometimes, and I love it. You actually get through so much more information and so many web pages and forum posts this way, more efficiently.

Next time, THINK. Unless of course you were being sarchastic.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Link Flag
 

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