Features in Internet Explorer 7

Some features and possible features in the upcoming Internet Explorer 7 are starting to find their way onto the Web.  One of the biggies is better support for industry standards.  The guys over at the IE Blog have mentioned two specific items they are improving or introducing:

  • Support the alpha channel in PNG images. We’ve actually had this on our
    radar for a long time, and have had it supported in the code for a while now. We
    have certainly heard the clear feedback from the web design community that
    per-pixel alpha is a really important feature.
  • Address CSS consistency problems. Our first and most important goal with our
    Cascading Style Sheet support is to remove the major inconsistencies so that web
    developers have a consistent set of functionality on which they can rely.  For
    example, we have already checked in the fixes to the peekaboo
    and guillotine
    bugs documented at positioniseverything.net so use of floated elements become
    more consistent.

Jeremy Wright has listed a few features which he understands will find their way into IE7:

Once again, here are the high points I’m expecting for IE7, based on loads of
chats with loads of folks (inside and outside the company):

1. Leaner, thinner, faster
2. Absolute best standards support in the
3. Best security in the industry (IE basically already does this at
a conceptual level, but the model needs some work)… Included in this I’d say
features like “return to default configuration", “block all adjustments unless
specifically approved", etc
4. Improved popup blocking, as well as ad
5. Much better tabs interface

But, I’m expecting more beyond that. IE7 is Microsoft’s chance to fully
bridge this generation of computers to Longhorn’s generation of computers, so
they’ll put a lot of “enabling?? technologies in as well, which will make a lot
of interesting things, like AJAX, even more possible and easy to develop.

MsntbsAll in all, it is going to be pretty exciting to see what the IE team cranks out in a few months time when they launch IE7 beta.  Already there are reports of impending changes to IE6 which would introduce such features as tabbed browsing to IE6 (probably for those without Windows XP Service Pack 2 and who won’t be able to upgrade to IE7 when it is released down the line.  Inside Microsoft posted the following item a few days ago:

Neowin has the exclusive
that Microsoft is developing a new version of the MSN Toolbar Suite
that will bring tabbed browsing to Internet Explorer 6. This will let
those who don’t have Windows XP SP2 and won’t or can’t upgrade to
Internet Explorer 7 can still get tabbed browsing. Of course, they’ll
miss out on IE7’s advanced security and RSS reader, plus advanced
search tools. Still, tabbed browsing in IE from Microsoft, for free of
course, will give a lot of people a good reason to download the toolbar

There is bound to be much talk about how Microsoft is copying other browsers (especially Firefox) and are only now introducing features users have been calling for for years now.  Yup, that is probably true but the real question is whether teams like the Mozilla Foundation are going to roll out even better, faster and more secure browsers?






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