Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 to be abandoned?

Microsoft has announced today that Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 is available for download.

In the Microsoft announcement, Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer development at Microsoft, said the timeline for further releases is:

Windows Vista Beta 2, and then Beta 3 of IE7, release candidates, and then a final release before end of year.

In a review of IE7 Beta 2, Mich Arrington of TechCrunch pointed out that:

The key features are tabbed browsing (including “Quick Tabs�, a way to see multiple web pages on a single tab), a continuation of the minimalist approach on the UI and toolbars, and enhancements to the RSS reader built into the browser. The team says they’ve made significant improvements in CSS rendering as well, a problem I noticed in the previous beta version.

Co-incidentally (I think!) John C. Dvorak has an article in PC Magazine today where he calls on Microsoft to abandon the browser! John reckons that:

All the work that has to go into keeping the browser afloat is time that could have been better spent on making Vista work as first advertised.

All of Microsoft’s Internet-era public-relations and legal problems (in some way or another) stem from Internet Explorer.

John’s solution is that Microsoft should:

pull the browser out of the OS and discontinue all IE development immediately…. Then, Microsoft can worry about security issues that are OS-only in nature, rather than problems compounded by Internet Explorer.

I wonder if Dean Hachamovitch and the IE team are worried about their jobs now that John has put that sugestion out there. Somehow I doubt it! John’s idea, while superbly timed and very well argued is destined to be ignored by Microsoft. Giving up and conceding defeat is not the Microsoft way.

IE7 Beta 2 caveats – According to Microsoft’s IE Group Program Manager, Tony Chor,

there is no supported way for IE6 and IE7 to install side-by-side

IE7 is beta software – install it at your own risk!

4 thoughts on “Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 to be abandoned?”

  1. John Dvorak has a point. Why so much effort into IE? Why not make a new branch of Firefox with an IE-style interface and any particular adjustments they feel are so important to Vista? Seriously. And they should keep this branch open source too if they want to win some “hearts and minds” (along the lines of Scoble’s ideas). It’s time for Microsoft to stop being too big to back down or admit mistakes.

  2. There’s a huge upside to MSFT abandoning IE7 – which I have given a run – not impressed but more importanlty, I think it will confuse existing IE users. Anyway – if IE7 is properly decoupled from the OS then MSFT does itself a huge favour.

    It’s the lock-in people object to. MSFT might as well give this baby up because FF is stealing, eating and digesting their lunch as it is. In doing so, MSFT signals to the outside world that the browser can’t be realistically owned and should be kept as open source. And oh by the way- we’re concentrating on getting it right in our core business.

    It might encourage more WAMP. Which would be a good thing for everyone. Except possibly Steve Ballmer – who probably thinks: ‘Hang on, what did I miss here? We bundled the two and said IE was basically free – what went wrong?’ Hint Steve – ‘bundled.’

    An interesting potential side-effect *might* be that malicious hackers would lose focus. In a 3 or 4 way splt between say IE, FF, Camino, Flock (as examples), where would you be putting your hacking effort?

  3. The key feature of ie7 isn’t tabbed browising, you “super users” have never watched a non technical person browse if you think that’s a key feature, they really don’t care about the number of windows open or the amount of memory used by the browser, they sit there and open up as many windows as the links that they’ve clicked on take them, is it an improvement sure, but the 95% of users that have never seen tabbed browsing will become familiar with it through ie7 and MS.

    The real key will be RSS and again this will be the first time that a majority of users will use RSS, the implementation in ie7 is vastly superior to the Firefox experience, (which frankly sucks big time) so in again my opinion RSS in the eyes of the consumer will invitability be associated with ie7 and Microsoft. That’s the key feature, and that’s the one that will holding off firefox long enough for vista and the real death of the browser.

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