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A First Look at IE 7
Pages: 1, 2, 3

Built-In Search

IE 7 comes with built-in searching using popular search engines (see Figure 12). You can select the search engine you want to use--the default search engine will always be used unless you explicitly select others--or select Search Settings to set your favorite search engine as the default (see Figure 13).



Figure 12
Figure 12. Selecting a search engine to use

Figure 13
Figure 13. Setting the default search engine

Third-Party Toolbar Support

There have been some rumors on the Web concerning the blocking of third-party toolbars (most notably Google Toolbar and Yahoo Toolbar) in IE 7. However, I managed to install both of them on my Windows Vista version of IE 7; Figure 14 shows the Google Toolbar, and Figure 15 shows the Yahoo Toolbar.

Figure 14
Figure 14. Google Toolbar in IE 7 Beta 1

Figure 15
Figure 15. Yahoo Toolbar in IE 7 Beta 1

Note that Yahoo's version 5.6 may have an issue with IE 7 Beta 1, but the current release (version 6.1.1) should work.

Enhanced Security

In IE 7 Beta 1, secure sites now have the security padlock displayed next to the URL (see Figure 16). You can view the certificate information by clicking on the padlock icon.

Figure 16
Figure 16. The security padlock

IE 7 Beta 1 also includes the Phishing filter. Whenever you load an address, IE 7 will (in the background) check the address against a database of blacklisted URLs known to be phishing sites. When a site has been determined to be a phishing site (see Figure 17), you will have the option of blocking it or, if it looks suspicious, reporting it.

Figure 17
Figure 17. A known phishing site

Note that the Phishing filter is available only on the IE 7 Beta 1 for Windows XP. Support for IE 7 in Windows Vista will be available in Beta 2.

Summary

While the work on IE 7 is not yet done, Beta 1 does give a glimpse of the capability of the new and improved browser. The impending release of IE 7 will surely prompt other browser makers to improve on their offerings.

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) http://weimenglee.blogspot.com is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions http://www.developerlearningsolutions.com, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.


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