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IE 7 facts and speculation.
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 2/24/2005 08:42:00 PM.

Too much hype is going around the IE7 release.

Here are some IE 7 facts and speculation.

IE 7 facts:

From a factual basis, here's what we know about IE 7 right now:

IE 7 was originally scheduled for Longhorn. The new features we're going to see in IE 7 were originally going to be available only as part of Longhorn.

IE 7 will be focused on security, not new features.

Like the version of IE that Microsoft shipped in XP SP2, IE 7.0 will consist, mostly, of security-oriented features. One of these features will be an anti-phishing technology. As Gates noted, "Some of the advances [in IE 7] include things focused on phishing, where people use URLs that appear to come from another location, things related to malware. So, [that] will be another important advance [in IE 7]."

IE 7 will also include an IP traffic encryption capability that will help prevent electronic eavesdroppers from modifying data before it reaches your machine or redirecting you silently to malicious servers. "It makes sure that the traffic is encrypted, so there is no eavesdropping or modification that can take place, but it also makes absolutely sure through the use of certificates that the machine that you're connected to is the machine that you want to be able to connect to," Gates noted. Microsoft is also overhauling the IE security zones in IE 7.

IE 7 will be free. Like previous versions of IE, IE 7 will be free.

IE 7 speculation:

In addition to these facts, there are a few speculations about IE 7.

IE 7 will probably ship for XP SP2 customers only. Microsoft is already backing off a bit from its original claim that IE 7 would be marketed as another benefit of using XP SP2. That means that the company could theoretically back-port IE 7 to Windows 2000, too, assuming that enough customers complain. However, it's likely that IE 7 will remain XP SP2-only, if only because a Windows 2000 version of IE 7 would be inherently less secure.

IE 7 will probably include new features. Microsoft is working on implementing tabbed browsing and other new features in the version of IE 7 that will ship in Longhorn. Will tabbed browsing and other new features ship in the standalone IE 7 that Microsoft plans to release for XP SP2 users?

IE 7 will probably not include a new Outlook Express version.

IE 7 will likely ship this calendar year. You can expect IE 7 to enter beta in May or June and ship by the end of 2005. There will be at least two beta releases, according to the IE Team blog.

The version of IE in Longhorn will be quite different from standalone IE. Don't be fooled into believing that XP SP2 users are going to get Longhorn's version of IE this year. The version of IE in Longhorn will include advanced graphical capabilities, unique new features, and will benefit from the underlying search functionality in Longhorn (the omission of WinFS won't change that). Longhorn IE will be much safer than XP SP2 + IE 7 because of low-level changes to the attack surface in that OS.

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