The State of the Browsersphere - Part 3: Internet Explorer

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"Are you woman enough to be my man?"
Pearl Jam / Hail Hail

Posted on October 07, 2005 12:55 AM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

After a little more delay than I would have preferred (I am watching way too much TV these days), I present to you the third installment in my "The State of the Browsersphere" report. This time around I'll be covering recent developments in the world of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Before I get into the new features and functionality being added to Internet Explorer 7, I want to quickly touch upon a development that applies to IE7 as well as other browsers such as Firefox and OperaInfoCard. InfoCard could eventually become somewhat of a standard in digital identity identification should the aforementioned alternative browsers jump on board. You can read more about InfoCard over at Mike Shaver's blog.

Now on to the features. One of the new features in IE7 that I'm looking forward to seeing in action is their updated support for printing. Supposedly, web pages will no longer get clipped (I've frequently seen web pages get clipped on the right edge in IE6) and Internet Explorer will be smarter about saving paper when the final page contains hardly any content.

One of the biggest and most controversial additions to the upcoming version of Internet Explorer is RSS support, which is explained in detail over at IEBlog. As I mentioned here before, I agree with Microsoft's decision to refer to RSS feeds as "web feeds," and I especially like how they will be "pretty printing" web feed contents automatically, rather than displaying bare XML when a feed is viewed in the browser. I think this will dramatically improve the user experience in terms of novice users who don't really care what bare feeds look like anyway.

A simple, aesthetic but agreeably necessary change has occurred in the actual icon for Internet Explorer 7. You can see a large rendition of the new icon and text over at IEBlog. I think it looks good.

The IEBlog has also covered features such as updated URL handling, a new phishing filter and a whole slew of other features such as a single window thumbnail view of all tabs, page zooming (just like Opera), native XMLHTTPRequest support (for Ajaxians out there) and of course, many CSS-related bug fixes.

If you're at all interested in what Internet Explorer 7 won't do, Forever Geek has a pretty good list.

Stay posted, because I'll doubtless be posting more about IE7 as its development progresses. I'll also be posting here soon with another installment, this time focusing on my favorite web browser (hint: it rhymes with "tire locks").

See also:
Part 1: Safari
Part 2: Opera
Part 4: Firefox
Part 5: The Minor Players

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