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Inside Look: Internet Explorer 7, Beta 2

by Wei-Meng Lee

Last year, I wrote a preview of IE 7 Beta 1 when Microsoft released Windows Vista Beta 1. Since then, six months have passed and the IE 7 team has released the second beta of IE 7. This IE 7 Beta 2 Preview is the first public beta designed for IT pros and developers, and it especially targets Windows XP SP2 users. IT pros and developers can use this beta preview to test their toolbars and ActiveX controls. But what about end users? In this article, I will update you on the features in IE 7 Beta 2 and what has changed since the last beta preview.


Before you head out to install IE 7 Beta 2, here is some useful information:

  1. When you install IE 7 Beta 2, it will upgrade your current IE 6. Side-by-side running of IE 6 and IE 7 is not supported. Hence you will not be able to run IE 6 after IE 7 is installed.
  2. You can uninstall IE 7 if you don't like it. This process will return IE 6 to its original state.
  3. If you have IE 7 Beta 1 installed, you need to uninstall it first before you install Beta 2. Check out this page for more information.

You can download the IE 7 Beta 2 Preview from the Internet Explorer 7 page. During installation, you will be prompted to validate your copy of Windows and install the latest updates for IE.

The first time you run IE 7, you need to set some options (see Figure 1). In particular, you are recommended to turn on the Automatic Phishing Filter so that the URL of sites you are visiting will be sent to Microsoft for checking. You can also opt to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program.

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Figure 1. Setting the options the first time IE 7 is run--click for full-size image.

New UI

The UI of this latest beta is slightly different from the last beta. Figure 2 shows the new UI of IE 7 Beta 2.

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Figure 2. New UI of IE 7 Beta 2--click for full-size image.

One noteworthy feature is the Zoom capability (located in the status bar; see Figure 3). This accessibility feature is very useful for vision-impaired users who need to enlarge the page for easier viewing.

Another easily accessible feature is Automatic Website Checking. This feature is also located in the status bar, and with one click of the mouse you can turn it on or off.

Figure 3
Figure 3. Turning on/off Automatic Website Checking

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