IE 7 Beta 3 is here

For those of you waiting with baited breath, and possessing a spare machine that you can afford to render non-functional or have a Virtual PC license, get IE 7 beta 3 now.

From what I can tell it does not have any significant rendering engine changes from the preceding beta. It does contain some security updates, so users are strongly advised to update. Biggest visible changes are draggable tags (a la Firefox 1.5) and the ability to mark RSS feeds and posts as read. You can check out documented changes in the release notes.

Also available is the IE7 Readiness Toolkit which contains a fair amount of handy information and links to tools that will help prepare us developers for the onset of IE 7 later this year.

I would also advise checking out the IEBlog on a regular basis. Related to this release, I would definitely take a look at the very good summary of the UI changes and a handy how-to uninstall preceding betas guide.

[NB: Announcement just hit all wires, IE blog appears to have gone offline while I was writing this. IE7 downloads will probably be a bit slow tonight.]

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  • santouras

    “Biggest visible changes are draggable tags (a la Firefox 1.5)”

    if you’re talking about draggable tabs, Opera has had them for ages :P

    I love it how Firefox introduces a feature that has been existent in other browsers for years, and everyone splooges over it and believe that they invented it….. *shakes head*

  • http://diigital.com cranial-bore

    I love it how Firefox introduces a feature that has been existent in other browsers for years, and everyone splooges over it and believe that they invented it

    Not necessarily invented it, but most people will know draggable tabs from FF1.5
    That’s were most people discovered the feature.

    The IE7 previews do not mix with IE6?
    Seems an obvious question, but I didn’t find an answer in my brief search.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ Kevin Yank

    The IE7 previews do not mix with IE6?
    Seems an obvious question, but I didn’t find an answer in my brief search.

    As with past versions of IE, you can launch previous versions that have been hacked to run “standalone”. You can download these directly from the browser archive at evolt.

    Be aware, however, that these “standalone” versions will not correctly process Internet Explorer conditional comments out-of-the-box. Conditional comments are a vital tool for CSS compatibility across Internet Explorer versions.

    There are instructions floating around that allow you to rewrite your Windows registry before and after running these “standalone” versions in order to get them to handle conditional comments. I’ll see if I can dig them up for a blog post here.

  • http://www.sudokumadness.com/ coffee_ninja

    My problem with IE 7 has been, since beta 1, the user interface. All these new features that FF and Opera have had for years are pointless when buttons I clicked the most are now hidden away under IE’s newer, “cleaner” UI.

    Considering most browsers have exactly the same buttons in exactly the same places, was Internet Explorer 6’s interface really that broken?

  • dsa1971

    Maybe I’ll get used to IE 7 but I have hated it so far. I don’t really see why they felt they needed to move the navigation around but I guess that is what Microsoft does best with any application upgrade. They wouldn’t want people to get used to where things are in an application.

  • http://www.visualdevelopments.com maartenvr

    My problems with IE7 are everything else it messes up. I use Quickbooks, after installing IE7 my entire layout was all over the place, fonts were twice the size etc. I uninstalled IE7, and I got everything back to normal.

    The other thing I hated was the toolbars… they were not as customizable as in IE6. In IE6 I was able to move everything just about exactly where I wanted it, remove what I wanted, etc. With IE7 that is not the case…

  • Jonnay

    Beware of using IE standalones. Every once in awhile you are going to run into weird browser rendering bugs that don’t exist on a clean install.

  • wwb_99

    @kevin: I really advise against running standalone versions. One is alot better off using Virtual PC, as suggested by the IE team, to do the cross-browser testing.

    @coffee_ninja: I never said I liked IE7 . I actually was not impressed with the previous initial versions and have not got around to testing it out again.

    @maartenvr: This is why one should not install IE betas on a production machine. Unfortunately, IE, as a windows component, gets used in many, many applications. Such as quickbooks. I have found that even locking down the security settings in IE can cause some things to have issues.

    I should note that the bulk of the readiness toolkit is aimed at desktop applications using IE to render things rather than web applications.

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  • Anonymous

    i have installed ie7. My help and support centre in windows does not work properly. Especially Use Tools to view your computer information and diagnose problems. Then offer remote assistance.

  • helmut

    The arrangement of the user interface is no good in beta2, esp. the placement of the adress bar above the standard menu is very bad. The standard menu has to be the top line! Some other features are quite good, ie. the bookmark-opener, which opens automatically the precedingly opened bookmark folder again.
    I tried to install beta3, but Win XP SP2 said: iesetup.exe is not an approved application. BTW: After uninstalling beta2 (preparing for a beta3 install) IE6 recovered automatically from MS nirvana. So I was quite glad to have IE6 back!

  • pixelsurge

    Is there any way to install IE7 as the standalone, instead of IE6 as the standalone? I know this was possible with beta 2, but I can’t get it to work with beta 3. See my forum post for the details:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=400730

  • pixelsurge

    I found a way to install beta 3 as a standalone:
    http://tredosoft.com/IE7_standalone