Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 7 - too little too late
Oct 19, 2006, 17:05 GMT
Seattle - Hoping to stave off increased competition from the open source Firefox internet browser, Microsoft on Thursday released Internet Explorer 7, a new version of its web surfing programme that incorporates some of the most popular features of its smaller rival.
Apart from copying Firefox's tabbed browsing feature that allows users to open multiple web pages in a single window, IE 7 also offers significant security improvements over IE 6 which was first released five years ago.
IE 7 will only work with the latest version of Windows XP. Some features, including a control that stops web sites from changing the settings on users' computers, will only work in conjunction with Windows Vista, the new operating system that will become available to consumers in January.
The new browser also offers improved looks and a built in search box, but Walter Mossberg, technology correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, writes that it does not offer any significant improvements over Firefox.
'The new Internet Explorer is a solid upgrade,' Mossberg said. 'But it's disappointing that after five years, the best Microsoft could do was to mostly catch up to smaller competitors.'
Internet Explorer 7 is only available in English, but other languages will be added over the coming weeks.
The free programme is available for individual download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx, and will also be pushed to users via Microsoft's automatic update system.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur