Microsoft has released Internet Explorer version 7 Beta. You can download it or review its features here. They've added tabs, integrated RSS feeds, better security features as well as more options for their search bar. It's basically FireFox with a different logo.
And certainly, without installing the latest Office Beta, it's just like FireFox. But once you update your Office programs, it's a whole different ballgame... you can do all kinds of cool crap, like viewing your RSS feeds through Outlook. Basically, you get the functionality of IE7 without actually having to open IE7.
There's a lot more integration going on with the other Microsoft products, too, which is either going to be incredibly useful, or a nightmare once the Russians start their coordinated attack and infiltrate all aspects of your computer.
I'm also concerned about the installation of IE7. It validates your Windows installation, and this feature alone will keep 1.6 billion people in China from using it. I call Shenanigans!
The new MSN Messenger Beta is pretty cool, too. You can set up a shared folder with another user, which is basically an FTP site that you can both access. And well know how much I love to FTP! You can play trivia with each other, use a Whiteboard feature, make music from your text, etc. Basically, you can do a bunch of crap that is not related to work. Hurrah!
But what I like most about IE7 is the icon. This is no minor update... the Blue E has been a cornerstone of the Microsoft marketing franchise, and to update it shows that Microsoft is no longer going to allow its icons to show up for work drunk and disheveled any longer. You go, girl!
All in all, I'm pretty excited about the new version of IE. I'll probably use it a lot more once it's out of Beta. Hasta la Vista, Office 2K3.
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