IE7 Beta 2: This Beta Is Mo Betta

April 25, 2006


Oftentimes, I judge the overall “goodness” of a software product based upon my wife’s general perceptions of product “look”, product “feel” and general product usability. And her initial view of IE7 was simple: “Go ahead and make it the default browser on our system, honey!” Well, alright then. I will – and I did.

For my part, I am really liking IE7 Beta 2. Why? Well, it’s a large number of things. First of all, I love all the features that were in the previous publicly available builds. Tabbed browsing is in the base build – and has been for months. Security enhancements are everywhere – including phishing filters. And the “out-of-the-box” RSS integration is great.

When I first installed an IE7 preview a few months ago, I wasn’t certain if I liked the RSS browser in the product. I had grown accustomed to the LiveBookmarks interface that is part of the Firefox browser. But the RSS “preview” has grown on me. Yes, I’ve grown accustomed to it through the Vista builds I’ve been running. But it’s more than familiarity. I ike the casual simplicty of the feed being reduced to a simple scrollable page. And I think the team has really tightened things up with this release. And the biggest treat was the inclusion of OPML feed imports. So my feed lists were easily loaded from Sage (a Firefox extension) into the new IE browser. Thanks for finally getting this into the base build!

The most encouraging thing about this release is that it is now feature-complete. In Microsoft parlance, Beta 2 is synonomous with feature complete. It is also the general designation for builds that are rolled out to the whole company. Yes. That does mean that IE7 will beocme the default build for browsers that all Microsoft employees use – and show to customers.

And while this is pretty neat in and of itself, it is more important to note that this says that RSS will now become part of the corporate culture. Everyone in the company will now have a feed reader. So that means that feeds will proliferate even further into the corporate consciousness. And the feed store will become an even more visible part of the computing ecosystem found within all Microsoft products.

It is great to see the strides taken last summer that are now becoming the products of today. Once again, I’m reminded of the reasons that I joined this company.




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