Robert Vamosi of CNET gives his assessment of the just officially released Internet Explorer 7.
The good: IE 7 includes built-in tabbed browsing; antiphishing technology; an RSS reader; and a redesigned Favorites Center.
The bad: IE 7 is limited to Windows XP SP2 users only; installation requires reboot; reuses old IE 6 code and doesn't yet comply with current Web standards; doesn't match all the features found in Firefox or Opera; carries a Microsoft legacy of not patching its IE flaws quickly enough.
The bottom line: IE 7 was Microsoft's one chance to leapfrog ahead of the competition, but the company has only barely caught sight of the current front-runners. For more features and greater security, switch to Mozilla Firefox.
Here is a brief video tour of the new IE 7.
Like Mozilla Firefox and Opera, IE 7 has a built-in Internet search box in the top tier of the interface. If you install Internet Explorer on a clean system, the search box defaults to the little-used Windows Live.com site; however, if you upgrade and you already have a preference for, say, Google.com, Internet Explorer will respect your wishes and ask whether you want to continue using Google as your default search engine.
Depsite recommending the Mozilla Firefox for its better security and overall features, Robert recommends Windows users upgrade to IE 7 even if they never use it. "Because Internet Explorer is so tightly bound within Windows XP SP2 (for example, if you view an HTML document in Microsoft Word, you're using IE technology), it's better to have the improved code within IE 7 running on your system than not," he advises. More reviews and opinions will be forthcoming over the next few days. The IE 7 download is here.