I was suprised to see that it didn’t take Google long to put a link to the searchlet that can be installed into IE 7. It was about time that they added that feature. Anyway, I’ve been playing around with it for a bit and here’s what I’ve seen so far:
- CSS support is greatly improved. This means that Firefox and IE 7 are now closer together in terms of implementation — however, this new support has broken a number of sites (WordPress being the one that I’ve noticed the most often — the admin interface).
- RSS Aggregator — I’ve tried working with the feed aggregator in Firefox, but didn’t think that it was don’t quite right, but in IE 7, I like it. However, this is one of those tools that I just love being web-based, so I’m not sure how useful this tool would be for me.
- Separation of IE and Explorer. This was something that caught me by suprise — but I like this. It was about time. Its nice to see Microsoft sandboxing this application.
- Active X has been pretty much disabled. They are still available, but certainly not as easy to run. In fact, after installing IE 7, just about every Active X control that had been installed was blocked and has to be authorized one by one.
- Tabs — I like that they used the Opera interface rather than the firefox interface.
- The printing is much improved. For the first time, IE scales webpages correctly when printing.
- Phishing tool is nice, though I run into a number of sites that cause it to throw a false positive.
- Finally, some advanced user-data management tools.
- I like the tab preview tool — though its pretty much like a firefox extension.
- The biggest con is obviously that this is still a beta so there are sites that can cause the program to hang and crash. I had hoped that Microsoft would isolate each tab within its own process/thread to try to protect the host application, but like firefox, if you’re tab crashes, so does the host application. However, like opera, IE 7 includes the ability to restore your last tab session.
- Memory usage. Its not bad for a beta, but I’m hoping to see some improvements.
- ftp feature appears to be broken. The help document indicates that you should still be able to utilize IE for ftp connections, but I’ve yet to get it to work.
All and all, I’ve been pretty happy with the new standards support and the overall look at feel. As a web developer, I’m excited because this release appears like it will end the practice of writing specially crafted IE only code. It likely won’t end it completely, but this should get better.