Microsoft today released IE 7. IE7 can be downloaded here. IE7 runs on genuine Win XP SP2 editions only. I should mention here that I did not beta test IE7 or did not try out the Release Candidates that have been coming out in the past few months. I decided to upgrade and felt quite good after it.
Usability – IE7 was pretty easy to use. I would not say that it has been greatly improved. The menu bar appears only if you decide to enable it or press the “Alt” key. The Address Bar stays at the top of the window. The toolbar has been redesigned. The back and forward buttons are now a part of the address bar.
The standard toolbar has been redesigned. It contains the “Tools” menu and the “Page” menu along with homepage button and a RSS feed button.
IE7 comes with integrated search. Live Search is the default. You can add more search engines to the browser as well as make whatever you like as the default.
Tabs – IE7 is perhaps the last browser on earth to ship with tabbed browsing feature. A few minor irritants there. You cannot close the last active tab. I did not find a way to remove the new tab button. May be it is buried deep into the Tools > Options dialog.
Feeds – IE7 supports RSS feeds. The feeds button lights up if the page you are currently viewing has feeds enabled and you can subscribe to the feeds you wish. All Feeds can be found under the Feeds section of the Favorites Center which is another new entrant. This can be compared to the side bar in previous versions or panels in Opera.
Minus Points – No mouse gestures. No integrated mail client. Download is about 14.8 MB. Opera comes at 6 MB. Firefox is around 5 MB. So IE7 is pretty big. No voice commands (as far as I know)
Plus Points – Anti phishing is built in. Can check sites while its loading. Can view all open tabs in a slide view and jump to that tab. Can set more than one page as home page and each will load in a tab. Page rendering is faster than previous versions, though not dramatic.
As always, a few screen shots