Reviews of IE7 Beta 2 Preview - will be threat to Mozilla and RSS Aggregators

Reviews of IE7 Beta 2 Preview - will be threat to Mozilla and RSS Aggregators

Summary: A round-up of reviews of the latest pre-release of IE7. NB: post has been updated since first published...

TOPICS: Reviews

Some brave developers have downloaded the IE7 Beta 2 Preview and are beginning to report back their findings. The main new features in IE7 are tabs, RSS integration and improved security. Plus there are various smaller added features such as a zoom control and address bars in pop-up windows.

CNET's Robert Vamosi details the features in full and IE7 will be a very hard blow to Mozilla it's interesting to note that CNET readers seem to be unimpressed so far, 91 users having rated it an average of 5.1 out of 10. However that may be due more to anti-Microsoft bias than actual trial of the product. CNET member paulfromgreyhats, a self-described "security researcher", gave the product a 9 out of 10. He comments:

"About IE7, I'm actually using it right now to write this review. I can honestly say than from what I've seen, IE7 is going to be be a very hard blow to Mozilla. IE7 has great new features like RSS feeds and tabbed browsing. Also, backed by popular demand, IE7 is separate from the shell. That meens a more secure browsing experience."

The official IEBlog has more details online now. Al Billings, a project manager on the Internet Explorer team, outlines a list of FAQs. He notes among other things that this is a very limited developer preview of IE7: "this release is only for Windows XP Service Pack 2 for x86 processors as detailed on the Beta 2 Direct Page." Jason Watters, a Program Manager on the Internet Explorer Team, also has a post explaining how to give feedback to Microsoft. Nathan Weinberg from the blog InsideMicrosoft notes a list of warnings - confirming that this is indeed not for the faint-hearted.

Among independent reviews in so far, Google Blogoscoped blog seems impressed - even noting that he's "test switching to IE" until Firefox gets some bugs fixed. Adam Green thinks IE7 will kill a lot of independent RSS Aggregator products, due to IE7's impressive RSS integration features. Slashdot commenters you'd expect to trash the product, but there are hints of praise in the comments - "all in all, not bad for the first public beta" says one. A comment by astrosmash was the best review by a Slashdot commenter that I found, noting both good and bad aspects to the product. The summary:

"Bottom line: There isn't enough here to get me to switch from Firefox (or Safari :p), and if they don't reign in the memory usage I doubt I'll even install it, but when I have to use IE on a friend or co-worker's machine, I'll be very glad if they have IE7 installed."

So although I'm not technical or brave enough to try the developer preview, it does seem to be getting reasonable reviews so far. I'm interested in what ZDNet readers think of it (if you've actually tried the product).

UPDATES: Thanks for the excellent comments so far, keep them coming! Some updates to report: Adam Green says he thinks IE7's aggregator isn't impressive, "but it is good enough". I've updated my reference to Adam to reflect that. Also TDavid has a good review, CNET's Robert Vamosi has a video look and CNET's Joris Evers reviews the current bug list.

Topic: Reviews

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  • Might be tempted to switch back

    I have been using FF since 0.6 beta, but am getting increasingly frustrated with the instability of 1.5. It crashes on me every day, and needs to be fixed soon. Would hate to go back to IE.
    • No stability problems with FF

      There are no stability problems with 1.5 that I can see. I browse the internet nearly 40 hours a week, and I've never had it crash once since I did a clean install of Firefox 1.5.
      Don't upgrade from an earlier version to 1.5, Firefox 1.5 doesn't like that at all.
      • No problem with upgrade to FF 1.5

        Upgraded only recently to FF 1.5 but didn't experience any problems since.
        So why bother to switch to IE7?
    • Could be an extension

      I have had no problem with FF 1.5 on four different machines. I wonder if you are having a problem with an extension?

      Unfortunately, extensions are one of the potentially greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses of FF. They add such capability for exciting new features, but they also bring risk of bugs.

  • not bad

    I've been using Firefox since I found out about it some time around 0.8, and generally I've loved it. I've never had any problems with instability or most of the other bugs that people have complained about, and grimace when I'm forced to use IE on a workmate's computer or for an IE specific web app, but IE7 makes significant inroads to pretty much all of my complaints.

    Obviously being a beta, it's not perfect - it's a bit slow and I had to do some rejigging of where everything sat in the interface to make it more useful but on the whole, a huge improvement. I'm still sticking to Firefox and will wait for the full release to make a decision but the RSS functionality is pretty cool. The 'Is this website phishing?' is something that should be on by default because most people wouldn't know what it meant, but if you turn it off at startup, it spends the next 20 minutes asking you if it wants you to check your current website for phishing scams. This gets annoying really freakin' quickly.

    Overall, I'm still not impressed enough to ditch firefox, but it will make using IE a lot less painful.
  • IE 7 seems pretty good

    Internet Explorer 7 seems pretty good so far. I have been using it for about a day and a half now, testing all the functions and going to all the websites I can think of, even ones with viruses and malicious script.
    Internet Explorer 7 hasn't let through any malicious script, though it isn't any better at stopping viruses than earlier versions (wasn't expecting it to be actually, that's what anti-viruses are for).
    The only gripe I have with it is that it doesn't have 'scriptlets', enabled for trusted sites by default, that breaks the navigation bars on some web pages.
    • Well thier big tout is about their new security

      "wasn't expecting it to be actually, that's what anti-viruses are for"

      I have been using Firefox for over a year now and have gotten 0 viruses from even the most malicious sites. In fact I was even invited to a IT's special treat for me and I sent him back his post, and posted it for everyone to see. You just can?t mess with Firefox sorry dude.
  • What's the big whoop?

    IE7 is ok, but no big new feature rollout. Tabbed browsing was cool but I used that with IE6.

    The physhing filter is a little goofy. It thinks our exchange server is a "suspicious site." When I sent a note to MS physhing filter central I got a response that they couldn't duplicate the problem. I didn't offer to give them our passwords so they could investigate further.

    It's also interesting that my bank thinks IE7 is a "non approved" potentially insecure browser and won't let me in anymore. (banking via laptop for awhile I guess)

    Anyway, it's stable, works fine and really wasn't worth the anticipation.
    Joe Donovan
  • I'll stick with Firefox

    I am not a Microsoft hater. I am a capitalist at heart, and I beleive that many of the 'evils' that people attribute to Microsoft are simply good business practices. I use many MS products, and I am positive that IE7 will be a worthy entry to the market. However, ...

    Microsoft has shown that, absent any competition they will let the market stagnate. It took the efforts of Opera, and Firefox following Opera's lead, to reintroduce innovation to the market. I believe that if we all switch to IE7 we will not see any new changes for another five years. Unless IE builds an overwhelming feature set, I will support the 'little guy' in an effort to keep innovation alive in the market.
  • Mozilla?? Who cares!

    I downloaded IE7 yesterday & yes, I'm impressed.
    IE7 is a lot quicker than Mozilla (& considerably quicker than IE6 also), is more user friendly, & ofcourse has a lot of other features esp tabs,quick tabs,rss,favorites center,enhanced ui,good looks & enhanced dynamic security which make it superb.
    IE6 sucked, but IE7 in its beta itself performs damn well...The final product's gonna kill Mozilla & Opera - surely.
    There are a whole lot of anti MS guys out there on ZDNet & more often than not they showcase themselves as a bunch of biased guys. I really dont care what these guys think - but I wud most definitely continue using IE7 - its the best of them all...

    Good Work M$!!
    • Interesting ...

      It's likely that Opera and FF is the reason why IE7 is out, and you hope they die off as a consequence?

      While innovation was possible, why did MS do nothing with IE6 until FF started gaining marketshare? Could it be the monopoly mentality? Competition is a good thing here.

      While IE7 may be better the fact that it is integrated into the O/S means any bug makes it an O/S bug. I'll stick with FF.
      George Jay
    • Not Very Mike Like

      I give you a donut!
  • More Fun with Firefox

    I have been using Firefox 1.5 since it came out last year and though I enjoy its tabbed browsing, rss feature, I love the vast number of themes, integrated search engines and 3rd party extensions.

    But most of all I like the extension "FireSomething". What a laugh to see my browser come up us Mozilla Firehippopotamus !!! I'm glued to Firefox.
    Al Sequeira
    • And cheaper too

      To run IE 7 you must have Windows XP. So the cost is at least an upgrade to XP Home, or more likely XP Pro. That's more than my old laptop worth.

      I'll stick to Firefox and Win2k.
      Fred Fredrickson
  • Already Insecure!

    Advisory: sp-x23-advisory

    So I saw that Microsoft released IE 7.0 Beta 2 to the public today. So, I figured I would give it a quick look at and I just happened to find something within the first 15 minutes into testing. Weird huh? So you are probally thinking, why release an advisory on a beta product? Well, why not? Its Microsoft right? You can check out the advisory here, and the PoC here.. And for the ones not running windows, here is a screenshot if your interested..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 31 @ 21:19:52 PST by tom_ferris
    • No Links :(

      • secunia

        How about 9 on it's maiden Voyage!
        • Zero from two

          [i]"How about 9 on it's maiden Voyage!"[/i]

          [b]"Fact" 1: IE 7 Beta's maiden voyage.[/b]
          It's the second beta, so not maiden voyage.

          [b]"Fact" 2: 9 exploits registered at Secunia.[/b]
          Not one of the results returned by your search are in regard to IE, much less IE 7.
          Fred Fredrickson
          • RU Ava Gina

  • Interesting

    You mean you can INSTALL IE7? And I thought that M$ said that you couldn't disconnect IE from the OS! What a crock.
    Roger Ramjet