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Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 Reviewed 221

Posted by Zonk
from the my-saturday-is-all-booked-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention a review of the latest Beta release for Internet Explorer 7 on Paul Thurrott's SuperSite. From the article: "While it's not enough to make me switch from Firefox yet--I still love certain Firefox features such as inline search--it's no longer an object of ridicule either. IE 7.0 Beta 3 includes huge functional and security advantages of IE 6 and is an absolute no brainer for anyone choosing to stick with IE. If you are an IE user, head over to the Microsoft Web site and pick up IE 7.0 Beta 3 today." ZDNet has some first impressions of the release as well.
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Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 Reviewed

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  • a finer compliment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayaguNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:59PM (#15642969) Journal

    From the article (emphasis mine): "While it's not enough to make me switch from Firefox yet--I still love certain Firefox features such as inline search--it's no longer an object of ridicule either. "

    A finer compliment (no longer an object of ridicule) couldn't be had. This from Thurrott, a Microsoft sychophant. So, it's come to this, Microsoft feints and jabs, feints and jabs, and after ten years (more?) of internet browsing that's how high the bar is set for them. I can't wait for Vista.

    • by heinousjay (683506) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:08PM (#15642998) Journal
      Well, to be fair (since you said 10 years or more) there was a period of time from the release of IE 4 to the release of 5.5 that it was essentially the best browser available. It's only since development basically stopped that it has been trounced so hard.

      • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:54PM (#15643147)

        Or, to put it another way, as long as there was viable competition, Microsoft continually improved their browser. When Internet Explorer achieved its objective of killing the competition, Microsoft cancelled development and left it to rot. Now there is viable competition again, Microsoft is scrambling to get back in the game.

        This is precisely why monopolies abusing their position to kill the competition is so harmful and why "it's a better product" is no defence.

      • The blanket statement 'best' without clarification is often an overstatement of fact. From around 1996 onward, MS IE was and is the best browser if the markup is generated by MS web generators or it the code is specifically hackedto work in IE. In other words, if the content is not meant to be a generalized web page, but a front end to a resource, then IE is going to the best solution. This has not changed. IE is still the best front end to MS generated content and specific applications.

        What has chang

    • by vistic (556838) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @03:17PM (#15643222)
      i believe you meant "sycophant"... and not "sychophant", which is a crazy elephant... not to be confused with "psychopants" which were a 70's fad.
    • until they fix the box model, it still remains "an object of ridicule" to me... :(
      • Uhh.. dude. The box model has been fixed for 5 years. IE6's box model, running in strict mode, is standard compliant.

        The quicks mode box model will, by definition, always be non-standard, because that's there for compatibility. Want a compliant box model, make sure the browser is running in strict mode.
    • by kubevubin (906716)
      Microsoft sycophant? You obviously haven't read some of his reviews. Despite what you may think, not all of his outlooks on various Microsoft products are positive.
      • Indeed, that was my first thought too. If you read his reviews of some of the Vista builds [winsupersite.com], it's pretty clear he's not shy to criticse Microsoft products when he thinks they deserve it. E.g.

        Where Vista Fails I'll leave a fuller examination of Vista's broken promises for a later date. For now, let's look at the most current builds we do have--build 5308 and 5342--and see where Vista just completely blows it. As with the broken promises, Vista's failures are legion, but I'll just focus on a few examples her

  • by scgops (598104) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:01PM (#15642975)
    ...to see an article on /. saying something positive about a Microsoft product.

    I guess we'll start seeing flames any minute now...
    • Very positive! (Score:4, Informative)

      by mangu (126918) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:59PM (#15643160)
      saying something positive about a Microsoft product


      Hmmm, let's see:

      "it's not enough to make me switch from Firefox"

      "it's no longer an object of ridicule either"

      "...for anyone choosing to stick with IE"

      "If you are an IE user..."

      "I still feel that most users would be better off with a more feature-packed browser like Firefox"

      I'm not quite sure that "non-negative" is the same as "positive". I also need to look up on the definition for "lukewarm reception".

      • Re:Very positive! (Score:2, Informative)

        by DavidTC (10147)

        "it's no longer an object of ridicule either"

        is what is technically known as 'damning with faint praise'.

        It's not any good at all, but at least people aren't pointing and laughing at it?

    • You wanna hear something strange? Firefox is my default browser, so in IE7b3, when I click on a bookmark or enter a URL into the address bar, IE7 actualy calls Firefox to retrieve the page. Bizarre!!!
  • CSS? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aymanh (892834) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:10PM (#15643013) Journal
    I did a quick search for "CSS" in those reviews, got zero hits. I skimmed through the lists of enhancements, and looks like almost everything has been available in other browsers for years. 'Nuff said.
  • [irony]
    shit, once again I am stuck! I tried to install it on my SuSE 10.1, but it does not work... this damn Windows Genuine Advantage. If Novel only had a SuSE Genuine Advantage.
    [/irony]
  • Not Feature Complete (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nicholas Evans (731773) <OwlManAtt@gmail.com> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:11PM (#15643020) Homepage

    IE7 may have all of the features Microsoft wanted it to have, but it still lacks reak XHTML support [msdn.com].

    They've had how many years to get their shit together, but we're still stuck with 'sorry, our implementation is a hack even though we helped write the standard, maybe you'll get THE BASIC FEATURES OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB implemented in 2015!

    • Wow, look at my awesome complete sentences!

      They've had how many years to get their shit together, but we're still stuck with 'sorry, our implementation is a hack even though we helped write the standard, maybe you'll get THE BASIC FEATURES OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB implemented in 2015!' story.

      Sorry, I'm just really annoyed by this. It's great that IE7 users are getting some UI hotness, but I (as a web developer) am still getting boned. That is not acceptable to me.

      • It's great that IE7 users are getting some UI hotness

        Why do you neglect all the dozens of CSS fixes made in IE 7? To make your point more easily? To ignore that they felt their resources is better diverted at CSS now than XHTML? Many web developers coding in "XHTML" even belives it's mostly just a matter of casing your tags properly, which it's not [hixie.ch]. I really think layouts on web pages are more important for a web browser than following a reformulation of HTML in XML. Sure, the latter can be useful for e.g m

        • Why do you neglect all the dozens of CSS fixes made in IE 7?

          Probably because there are still at least one hundred left...
    • Yeah, yeah, they've had umpteen years to work on this, but they didn't. They've only been working on this for less than 2. IE7 is a stopgap release, focusing on security and fixing bugs in the rendering with a few new UI enhancements that people have been screaming for. A new parser would have made it impossible to get out the door in a reasonable time frame.

      The development leads have indicated that they are going to be doing more agressive updates in the future, and i wouldn't be surprised to see an xht
  • by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:13PM (#15643022)
    Uhh, this is a technology site for nerds isn't it? I was expecting a real review of a web browser, not this pseudo-tech magazine style 'yes this product exists' kind of review. The amount of times he mentions 'feature complete' also really bugs me.

    Review Outline:
      - They scraped some of the crap off IE 6
      - They've "improved it under the cover".
      - It's now got features that most other browsers have.
      - It'll be released when vista comes around.

    What the review should've had:
      - Memory usage comparisons
      - Backwards compatibility
      - Some screenshots of how it miserably fails the ACID2 test.
      - Does it finally have 32-bit colour PNG support?
      - Whats all this 7+ crap and why is it different?

    Sorry Paul you're coming across as a hardcore Microsoftie in it for the money rather than trying to give an honest opinion, hope you make lots of money from advertising, but this is a piss poor review.. maybe I should so it to my grandma so she's got something to discuss while she's getting her hair done!
    • maybe I should so it to my grandma so she's got something to discuss while she's getting her hair done!

      Maybe that's who it WAS written for. I know my grandmother isn't going to understand memory usage, png support, or ACID2 results...
    • by Keeper (56691)
      Memory usage: Less than firefox (not that that is difficult), more than opera
      Back compat: Seems fine to me
      ACID2 test: It fails miserably, just like every other browser out there
      Transparent ping support: It has it
      7+ crap: basically, sandboxing of IE and other Vista only features
      • by toriver (11308) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:51PM (#15643133)
        ACID2 test: It fails miserably, just like every other browser out there

        Except Konqueror, Safari and Opera 9.
      • by jZnat (793348) * on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:53PM (#15643141) Homepage Journal
        Uh, Konqueror, Safari, and Opera all fully pass the Acid 2 test, and Firefox passes it on the reflow branch (a specific development branch). Thanks for playing.
      • Memory usage: Less than firefox (not that that is difficult), more than opera

        Opera and Firefox both suck on memory usage. Opera 9 freshly opened with three tabs was taking 150MB+ last night. Nice program, but I wish they could get the freaking memory usage under control.
        • by drspliff (652992)
          And the copy of Opera 9 I'm running now has been on the go for the past 4 days, I'm a 'heavy user' and it's seen some action.. yet it's still hovering at ~160mb usage.

          If you take into consideration how much I use it compared to the other programs and how much I value it in my day to day business, I'm perfectly happy setting aside 5-10% of my systems memory. If it were to start climbing into the mid 300-400mb range *cough*firefox*cough* then I'd start to get concerned.
  • by ecc962 (792707) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:20PM (#15643038) Homepage

    "If you are an IE user, head over to the Microsoft Web site and pick up IE 7.0 Beta 3 today."

    Except of course unless you're a web developer in which case you still need IE6 on your machine for testing those delightful CSS quirks and, as ever, you can't run two versions of IE on the same machine.

    It's odd. MS's developer tools are generally pretty good but they do seem to fall down a bit for those of us who write web applications, especially given the recent rise in far more complex scripting and so on with the whole Web 2.0 buzz / AJAX thing. Oh well.

    • To be honest, virtualisation beats side-by-side installations for testing purposes anyway. You can set a bunch of virtual machines up, with varying resolutions, one with JavaScript disabled, one with images switched off, etc. Then just load them all up and tick them off the list as you test in each one.

    • And, furthermore, if you are a Web developer, why bother?

      You can get , and you can even switch between the [mozdev.org]. [mozdev.org]

      IETab is truly one of the most valuable extensions for Web developers that actually care what their pages look like in IE vs. Firefox, Makes it nice and easy to quickly compare and see where things break down.
    • Why bother [keeping IE]? I'd rather everyone (yes, web devs, this means you) boycotted IE. It'll be in everyone's best interest - no more broken HTML, no more IE-spread viruses/trojans. Just stop dumbing your site down to meet IE and write code that's standards compliant. When people complain, link them to Firefox and explain WHY you your site won't display. If they still complain, so what? Tell them not to use your site if they want to stay insecure and out-of-date.

      PS: everyone who says that IE6 renders CS
    • Actually,You can run multiple Internet Exploiters(TM).Here is the linkhttp://labs.insert-title.com/labs/Multiple-IE s -in-Windows_article795.aspx [insert-title.com] Not sure if that trick will work in IE7.Worth a try.

      That said,Why do you web developers keep making pages for IE?Even on a slow dialup they could get Opera or Firefox.Why not simply put at the bottom of your page- "I'm truly sorry if our pages loads incorrectly.We have asked time and time again for Microsoft to fix the problems with Internet Explorer only to be i

      • Why do you web developers keep making pages for IE

        Because our customers don't give a shit whose fault it is, or who has the moral high ground, they'll go to the competition if our site looks like ass and/or doesn't work and the competition's doesn't. Sad but true.
        • What's the harm in telling your customers whose fault it is. Even if you support IE why not make it a little goofy, using ugly fonts or making the images slightly offset or something. Deliberiatly make it ugly and quirky in IE and then write the text below explaining that MS doesn't care about standards and that they are better off with firefox.

          Oh and what if you don't have customers? I think every vanity and personal site on the internet should not even work with IE. Finally porn. Make a porn site that onl
    • If you think Microsoft is letting down those who write web applications (particularly cross-browser ones) check the the AJAX features being demoed in Scott Guthrie's ASP.NET + Atlas Tutorial [microsoft.com]. Very impessive stuff - a cross browser AJAX app written in minutes.

      Try count how many times he says 'go ahead'.
    • Actually, yes, you can run two versions on the same machine via several mechanisms. There's the unsupported hack method detailed here http://www.quirksmode.org/browsers/multipleie.html [quirksmode.org], and you can also download a free VM from VMWare or Microsoft and run a development version of your OS with the other version.
  • microsoft users (Score:2, Informative)

    by klyX (116477)
    should have read "anyone who uses Windows"
  • WGAS (Score:2, Informative)

    by heptapod (243146)
    IE is still going to be bloated with legacy code and remain noncompliant with W3C standards. Regardless of the bells and whistles, it will only have an audience through user inertia or ignorance of alternatives like Opera or Firefox.
  • meh (Score:5, Funny)

    by ElephanTS (624421) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:34PM (#15643088)
    Can't wait to get my hands on tabbed browsing. It sounds really good.
  • my review (Score:3, Interesting)

    by no-body (127863) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:49PM (#15643123)
    - go and download the thing
    First have to validate the system about it's "genuity" and get a key and who knows what it's doing during that process, in any case some sniffing around is done and probably the systems Serial number is recorded.
    Once the key is gotten and pasted into a field, download startd...
    Then execute the install file - first the system will need to be upgraded, with the "Automatic" upgrade option prominently displayed.
    No, I want to do the manual install and see what is coming onto the system.
    Well, well, well -the Windows Genuine Advantage is one package in a bundle and _has_ to be installed.

    Once the system is upgraded with all the goodies, the IE7B3 installer runs but complains that there is already a previous version of IE7B? installed and it has to be uninstalled first from the Control Panel.But this program has no uninstaller!!

    Result: Live with the old IE7 version and have the WGA phone home every day...

    Does this suck? Yesssss!!!
    M$ is digging their own grave with this type of BS!

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @03:06PM (#15643181)
    "Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 3 is a solid, feature-packed browser that all IE users should flock to immediately"

    I am going to switch immediately, and you should too.
  • by melted (227442) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @03:08PM (#15643196) Homepage
    Installed it yesterday on my old Dell laptop. Turns out it breaks slashdot layout, sidebars to be exact. WTF? I thought it was supposed to have better support for CSS, not worse!
  • by spykemail (983593) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @03:15PM (#15643216) Homepage
    This is definitely a step in the right direction (the Firefox direction that is). I agree that anyone who insists upon using Internet Explorer should get this the moment it's released. Now if only Microsoft can start adopting important standards in 10 years.

    The problem I have is this: if IE7 reverses the spread of Firefox, what's to stop Microsoft from repeating history and ceasing all serious development again?
    • by bigpat (158134)
      The problem I have is this: if IE7 reverses the spread of Firefox, what's to stop Microsoft from repeating history and ceasing all serious development again?

      Well, funny thing about firefox is that it isn't going away. As long as the mozilla foundation remains focused and/or as long as there are developers out there willing to take up the slack if they do. Microsoft complacency will only fuel firefox development and Microsoft arrogance will fuel its adoption. A new release of IE will not significantly hurt
    • The problem I have is this: if IE7 reverses the spread of Firefox, what's to stop Microsoft from repeating history and ceasing all serious development again?
      Then Firefox (or another new browser) will come along and reverse the spread of IE again with its new features, the same way Firefox did the first time.
  • by enosys (705759) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @03:33PM (#15643276) Homepage
    When a website wants you to go through a bunch of hoops like WGA to download a file there's often a very simple way around that. You can probably find the URL on FileMirrors [filemirrors.com]. If it's something popular like an IE beta it'll probably be on the front page so you won't even have to search. Oh, and here's a link to IE7BETA3-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe [microsoft.com].
  • "While it's not enough to make me switch from Firefox yet--I still love certain Firefox features such as inline search--it's no longer an object of ridicule either. IE 7.0 Beta 3 includes huge functional and security advantages of IE 6 and is an absolute no brainer for anyone choosing to stick with IE."

    MSIE is proprietary. Those three words cover a great deal of what is wrong with Thurrott's review, even granting him his status as a Microsoft sycophant (as another poster pointed out).

    • Security advantages are largely unknown because nobody can inspect the program. We'll undoubtedly learn that MSIE 7 is riddled with security problems which Microsoft will be slow to fix, if they fix them at all. Nobody else will be allowed to improve the program and distribute their improved software. These freedoms are what proprietors deny you and your community. This is the well-established pattern of many proprietors, Microsoft being only one. I seem to recall that MSIE 7 had security problems well before this pre-release.
    • Yes, being "no longer an object of ridicule" is damning with faint praise.
    • Feature counts are what's wrong with a lot of corporate media; covering the horserace without questioning the underlying, more important, reasons why things are the way they are. Covering the underlying reasons would expose that software freedom is more important than feature counts, and in particular with web browsers one need not give up one to get the other. The Mozilla Foundation has been lacking here too; they don't talk about software freedom as a reason to favor Firefox (or any of their other fine programs). They are buying into a contest that they'll undoubtedly lose to a more monied and advertisement-conscious organization—Microsoft—and we'll see this when MSIE regains significant numbers of the popularity percentage points it lost to Firefox over the last few years.
    • I agree that feature count being overrated, but I don't think that Firefox is doing wrong trying to compete with IE in that front (as well as in others, of course). IMHO, firefox being a better and more secure browser is what has caused it to rise so much lately, not the freedom part.

      Yes, I do believe freedom is important, and it is what allowed Firefox to be what it is today... but if that was the only selling point, I doubt many people (outside of the commonly called "zealots" circle) would have fully swi
  • by exKingZog (847868) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @05:46PM (#15643633) Homepage
    People here have missed an important point: IE7 finally supports such basic CSS properties as position: fixed, min/max-width and fixes a few of the more annoying bugs; it also now supports PNG alpha transparency.

    Once IE7 becomes widely adopted, we can finally start USING some of these features without worrying about them not being compatible with IE. We need to encourage people to upgrade, and if they won't upgrade to Firefox or Opera, then at least they can upgrade to IE7 and give us an easier time developing web pages.
  • IE Users?? (Score:3, Funny)

    by SQLz (564901) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @07:17PM (#15643853) Homepage Journal
    If you are an IE user, head over to the Microsoft...

    Who are.....these people?

  • by kiwioddBall (646813) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @09:46PM (#15644213) Homepage
    I'm a developer and whilst I understand the point of view that IE is not standards oriented, the fact is that you're missing the whole point in that end users like IE, its really easy to use, and don't give a toss about the fact that it isn't standards compliant. All they care about is that web sites work in it, which they do.

    Web Developers can bitch all they want about standards etc, but the fact is that all Microsoft are worried about is backwards compatibility, which is the 100% correct way to go. Deal with it! Microsoft build products with the end user in mind. Web Developers are not the mass market end users.

    What would happen if Microsoft decided to start making the browser entirely standards compliant? A number of websites would stop working. You guys would moan about Microsoft again, saying how it was all their fault anyway. No change there, no incentive for Microsoft. Microsoft would lose market share because they made their browser the same as everyone elses. Theres no money to be made because you are the same as everybody else. Again, no incentive for Microsoft.

    I think you guys should get a reality check, and stop thinking that Microsoft should be impressing you somehow.

    Disclaimer. I am a developer, not for Microsoft, and I work on developing, recommending and implementing software based on open source products.
  • "While it's not enough to make me switch from Firefox yet--I still love certain Firefox features such as inline search--it's no longer an object of ridicule either."

    Mod me troll or whatever, but IE7b3 is still an object of ridicule, for Firefox and especially for Opera 8+ users. It comes up short in two important areas - power user features and standards support. It just can't compete with Opera's MDI, customizeable shortcut keys, and mouse/rocker gestures, among a plethora of other features. I just u

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