Print 44 comment(s) - last by finalfan.. on Oct 11 at 6:18 PM

Microsoft puts the finishing touches on its latest browser

In the battle of Firefox versus Internet Explorer 6.x, there was really no comparison. Firefox's tabbed browsing, perceived advantages in security and extensive extensions support -- not to mention the fact that it wasn't a Microsoft product -- have played a role in guaranteeing Firefox's success. It's a totally different ball game, however, with Internet Explorer 7.0.

Internet Explorer 7.0 adds many of the features that is has been lacking in comparison to Firefox including tabbed browsing, an improved printing engine, integrated anti-phishing technology, RSS support and beefed up security. Disappointingly, there’s still no centralized extension system with Internet Explorer 7.0. According to Scott Graff, Microsoft program manager for IE7 Compatibility, the browser will be released this month:

The final release of IE7 is fast approaching … and I mean really fast … and will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it’s available for download. We want to ensure that you are ready and the information below will help get you there. Compatibility with sites, extensions and applications has been a very high priority for us as we develop new features, enhance the existing features and move the platform forward to be more secure and standards compliant.  We are continually listening to feedback from our customers, partners and leaders in the industry to resolve major compatibility issues to ensure our common customers have a great experience with IE7.

Firefox 2.0 RC2 was released this past Friday, while RC3 is expected sometime next week. The Mozilla Foundation isn't expected to release the final version of Firefox 2.0 to the public until November.

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i just hope that
By S3anister on 10/10/2006 10:32:55 AM , Rating: 1
the videos will work right in IE7 now, cause the beta that i have for x64 edition, none of the videos on places like or work.

RE: i just hope that
By UserDoesNotExist on 10/10/2006 10:46:20 AM , Rating: 1
I have that problem with the x64 IE 7.0 that is included in the 64-bit install of Vista. If you're using x64 Vista, use "Internet Explorer" instead of "Internet Explorer (64-bit)". The former is the 32-bit version, which I haven't had any problems with. I hope they do resolve this soon as well.

RE: i just hope that
By bubbl07 on 10/10/2006 10:58:29 AM , Rating: 1
Flash is 32-bit and doesn't work natively in 64-bit browsers, so one must use an emulated 32-bit binary (i.e. 32-bit Firefox or IE).

RE: i just hope that
By mgambrell on 10/10/2006 11:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
Just a technical note.. theres nothing 'emulated' about 32bit apps in x64. 64bit cpus know how to run 32bit code if the OS sets up the process correctly.

RE: i just hope that
By finalfan on 10/10/2006 1:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
All activeX controls are 32bit and they are supposed to run in the same process of the IE. However, the x64 IE is 64bit, there is no way the 32bit activeX control can run in a 64bit process.

RE: i just hope that
By Illy on 10/10/2006 1:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
While that's TECHNICALLY true, it's not how it works in Windows. Windows x64 uses the WoW64 (Windows on Windows) emulation layer to run 32-bit apps, just like Windows 95 used the original WoW to run 16-bit apps. This emulation layer is very effiecent, but it does still add a small amount of overhead to 32-bit apps.

RE: i just hope that
By aGreenAgent on 10/10/2006 1:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well, in a 64 bit system, all 32-bit programs are denoted with a *32. So I'm going to go ahead and assume that the OS sets up the stack and everything differently than it would for a 64-bit app to deal with the 32-bits (32 bit pointers, etc). Whether or not you consider that emulation is a different story.

RE: i just hope that
By mgambrell on 10/10/2006 3:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
Alright guys, touche. I guess you could say that wow64 is emulating a win32 environment for the 32bit processes.

One one hand, you have some little compatibility hacks and then on the other the entire emulated environment. wow64 lies in the middle.

On one hand, you have the machine instructions being interpreted in software and then on the other being interpreted natively by the cpu. 32bit on x64 lies firmly in the latter.

I guess my point was not that theres "nothing emulated about it" but that its somewhat complicated and the mere unqualified label "emulated" carries negative connotations which I do not feel can be justly applied to wow64, as it does an exquisite job.

RE: i just hope that
By rushfan2006 on 10/10/2006 11:04:38 AM , Rating: 3
If it works decent and looks good I'll give it a whirl.

I'm a very routine and boringly predictable websurfer anymore...there are only 6 websites I ever go to and one of them is for my mortgage company and another includes my insurance company....

So yeah to me pretty much a browser is a browser is a browser.

RE: i just hope that
By MonkeyPaw on 10/10/2006 2:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. I don't venture far on the WWW anymore. However, a large part of my time is spent commenting and moderating in a few forums, so I'm a huge fan of FF2's spell checker. I'm surprised MS hasn't run with this idea, since Office has used this feature for years. OSX has a universal spell checker, and I figured Vista (or at least IE7) would do the same.

RE: i just hope that
By Spivonious on 10/10/2006 3:50:49 PM , Rating: 2
If they put that in they'd probably get fined by the EU :-P

RE: i just hope that
By imaheadcase on 10/10/2006 12:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
I still have to use IE to view lots of webpages with videos. can't view videos unless use IE. Kinda sucks you would think they would have a standard with videos online.

RE: i just hope that
By Murst on 10/10/2006 12:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Real Player wanted to be the standard... I'm glad that didn't go through.

RE: i just hope that
By TomZ on 10/10/2006 1:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I think they did switched over to using WMP - I think they used Flash previous to that, but I'm not totally sure. Their new videos don't play in Opera either.

What will keep me using Firefox instead of IE7?
By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 12:36:34 PM , Rating: 2

RE: What will keep me using Firefox instead of IE7?
By TomZ on 10/10/2006 12:46:19 PM , Rating: 3
You can have your principles. I, for one, prefer to test out the different browers that are available the run the one I like the best, which right now is Opera.

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 1:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
There's a point where you get so frustrated with Microsoft that you use as little of their products as possible. Lots of people have reached that point, and so have I. I did use IE for a long time, but one use of Firefox and I never went back.

By TomZ on 10/10/2006 1:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
I like other MS products - I just think that IE is a little mediocre. But I like Vista, Visual Studio 2005, and Office 2007, which I run all the time.

RE: What will keep me using Firefox instead of IE7?
By MadMax on 10/10/2006 1:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
You know, I recently tried Opera and immediately noticed the difference in speed. Opera is far more responsive than Firefox. I don't know if pages actually load faster, of if Opera just renders them faster, but in any case the difference is quite noticeable. And its features set is superior to Firefox as well. I was tempted to switch, but I just can't get used to Opera's interface. It seems cluttered to me. But I was definitely impressed. Right now, I have both browsers installed, and I switch between them depending on what mood I'm in.


By The Boston Dangler on 10/10/2006 7:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
I dumped FF for Opera around 1.5, it was getting worse with every new version. Not only is Opera's speed far better, it's a more robust program all together. Even all the little gadgets and stuff FF tries to do, are built in and done right. I do keep a shortcut to IE handy for a few sites custom made for it.

By ObscureCaucasian on 10/10/2006 10:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
Great to see it has an integrated "ant-phishing" system.

RE: Typo
By allnighter on 10/10/2006 11:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
That alone is what is taking me back to IE. This week!

RE: Typo
By Kuroyama on 10/10/2006 12:04:28 PM , Rating: 1
The current release candidate of Firefox 2.0 also has anti-phishing, so there's no need to go back to IE when all you need is a more up to date version of Firefox.

RE: Typo
By sxr7171 on 10/11/2006 5:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but seriously you have to be quite the internet noob to be fooled by a phishing site.

It is nice for most people though (the non-dailytech/Anandtech reading crowd), but I wouldn't want the overhead myself and I would disable it.

RE: Typo
By EtherDreams on 10/10/2006 3:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that the anti phishing feature works by sending URLs to Microsoft. There is supposed to be a list of "known safe sites" but that list seems to be quite small. Above and beyond the general privacy issue there is the issue of URL and path params being sent. URL params are supposed to be stripped but I've seen at least one report that suggest they aren't always. No attempt is made to strip path params AFAIK. So it might be wise to either not use the phishing filter (open URLs to banking sites, etc from password managers or bookmarks or what have you) or use it in manual mode only (turn off automatic checks).

RE: Typo
By splines on 10/10/2006 8:50:32 PM , Rating: 3
Do you get the impression people didn't read the post properly?

I for one welcome out new ant overlords..

By probedb on 10/10/2006 10:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
But IE7 still doesn't support as much of the CSS specs as Firefox and instead of just fixing some of IE6s bugs they decided it'd be nice to introduce some IE7 only ones ;) from a developers point of view IE7 is still a bit pants.

By Murst on 10/10/2006 12:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, if you're going to rip on MS for CSS, go ahead, but don't go praising firefox. Firefox has its own CSS issues, and the javascript crap which comes up is just horrible in FF.

IE7 has made huge improvements in CSS over IE6. Its not perfect, just like FF isn't perfect, but at work (where I use IE7) I generally have to go and fix stuff for IE6, whereas IE7 and FF get it right.

By AlexWade on 10/10/2006 2:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest flaw that Opera/IE6/IE7 still get wrong are the CSS box model. Though no browser is perfect, FireFox does the best job at CSS.

By Murst on 10/10/2006 4:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
padding=0 and (in cells) (cell)spacing=0. Fixes that issue. Been doing it for years now (as have most developers most likely) so its not really an issue.

There's some things you just have to live with. I actually think its a smaller issue than, for example, having to break up the 'script' tag when writing it through javascript in FF (its really annoying to read code like that, especially if you have and IDE which colors different parts of the code differently).

MS actually gets it right
By Rollomite on 10/10/2006 10:45:10 AM , Rating: 1
I've been using the latest RC release of IE 7, and to be honest, I no longer use Firefox. IE 7 has adopted many of the features that drew me to Firefox in the first place, and I have had 0 issues while using it. As much as I like to root for the underdog, I think MS might have gotten it right this time.

RE: MS actually gets it right
By Houdani on 10/10/2006 10:51:17 AM , Rating: 3
I'm a Luddite here, so pardon the ignorance.

Can you block the annoying Flash adverts with IE7 now? Either natively or via a plug-in?

RE: MS actually gets it right
By TomZ on 10/10/2006 12:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm running IE7, and I'm not aware of a way to do that.

RE: MS actually gets it right
By finalfan on 10/11/2006 6:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
You just need to disable the flash activex control in IE.

IE7 vs firefox, opera and others
By pinkpanther6800 on 10/10/2006 11:22:52 AM , Rating: 1
its nice with that anti phising thing but really.

its the same story all over, in the next 5-6 years there will likely not come much IE upgrades like the old ones... IE will soon again be left behind....

RE: IE7 vs firefox, opera and others
By swatX on 10/10/2006 11:47:09 AM , Rating: 2
if there is heavy competition then Microsoft would be forced to make IE upgrades. The main reason microsoft introduced IE7 is because of firefox.

RE: IE7 vs firefox, opera and others
By TomZ on 10/10/2006 12:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
Considering current and future competition, I doubt they'll make that same mistake again. I would guess that they will continue to develop IE after IE7 comes out.

RE: IE7 vs firefox, opera and others
By wrack on 10/10/2006 8:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually a version after IE7 is already planned and under R&D

....what will keep me using firefox
By ncage on 10/10/2006 12:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ok what will keep me using firefox over all the others is the extension support. There are some extensions that i use in firefox and that i can't live without (see below). Firefox is secure and maybe the new ie will be just as good especially in vista since it will be sandboxed but you can do things in firefox to make it "more" secure like scriptblock, adblock, and flashblock. It would be really cool if ie would add extension support with .Net. They just have to be REALLY careful if they do this because this could open a big security window. I think .Net has proven itself to be pretty secure though. I know i have looked at some of the firefox plugins. Like a password utility that they had to manually do hashing/encryption in code and had no standard libraries to use. That would really suck.

RE: ....what will keep me using firefox
By vhx500 on 10/10/2006 12:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Extensions like Adblock, Noscript, Video downloader, Filterset.g updater, etc. are never going to be available for IE7 IMO. I'll stick with Firefox simply because of the extensions.

However, IE7 is a good thing for the rest of the MS users and corporate IT departments since it's security enhancements has been so far impressive.

By MrDiSante on 10/10/2006 9:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one that considers copious amounts of plug-ins a bad thing? Personally, I dont use them merely because I like my browser nice and extension-free. Anyhow, FF turned me off when I was on my old machine cause it was laggy and a RAM-hog (Pentium III 550mhz, 256 meg RAM) and old habits die hard.

needs correction
By ChugokuOtaku on 10/10/2006 10:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
latest browswer

9 .02> (7 + 2)
By JustAnAverageGuy on 10/10/2006 5:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
9.02 > 7.0 + 2.0

We all know Opera is still the best ;)

- JaAG

By msva124 on 10/10/2006 7:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
Hope it's good, right now I am using Mozilla 1.7.3 because it loads faster than firefox and of course has tabbed browsing. But there are occasional compatibility issues and I would switch back to IE in a second if it's any good.

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