Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Receiving Positive (Early) Reviews?

Dennis Faas's picture

Let's face it: Microsoft has been facing an incredible amount of bad press as a result of Spyware lawsuits (Windows Genuine Advantage) and criticisms of its security programs (OneCare Live).

However, the impending release of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) might just reverse public opinion of the software giant.

Internet Explorer 7 has been in extensive beta testing since July of 2005. Over the course of that year, IE7 has progressed beyond a basic browser framework, showcasing a buggy interface and sluggish performance. Recent beta tests have shown IE7 to be a nearly complete build and with a host of new features.

Some of the new and more popular features include the ability to reorder open web pages (a la Firefox), mail icons on the standard toolbar, and all of the necessary security updates not available in earlier betas.

As a result of some of these features, tech critics are surprisingly appreciative of Microsoft's effort. Many online blogs feature writers who have shocked themselves by switching back to Internet Explorer from Firefox -- a rather astonishing feat for Microsoft considering the security criticisms of IE6. (Source:

"Thumbs Up" from the Competition?

Even the competition is impressed.

Original Firefox developer Blake Ross was recently quoted as saying that Internet Explorer 7 "actually looks pretty good."

Flattery this is not, for Ross makes such a comment because he sees so much of Firefox's improvements over IE6 in the newest Internet Explorer build. Rather than consider IE7 an improvement over Firefox, Ross simply sees the new browser as a fitting competitor (finally) for Firefox.

As for the future of Firefox itself: Ross believes the next version will again land Mozilla a few steps ahead of big 'ol Microsoft. Still, Firefox must prove itself, in much the same way as Microsoft's latest IE7 builds are impressing critics. (Source:

And now for the bad news...

Those wishing to install Internet Explorer 7 will have to pass through the Great Wall of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA).

Windows won't even begin installation until validation has been confirmed by Microsoft. With IE7 providing a refreshing wave of positive feelings for Microsoft, WGA's ugly mug might just frighten consumers away from the product before its release even nears. (Source:

Final versions of IE7 and Firefox 2 are set to release sometime this fall, making for yet another interesting tech duel in the closing months of 2006.

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