Alorie Gilbert at ZDNet:
Microsoft took the wraps off Internet Explorer 7 on Tuesday, releasing the new “preview” version of its Web browser to the general public for testing.
The program, still a work in progress, became available for download at 9 a.m. PT from the Internet Explorer section of Microsoft’s corporate Web site. The company, which began limited testing in July, had promised to deliver a public beta by the end of March.
“The big update is that it’s public,” said Margaret Cobb, group product manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft. “All previous releases were limited.”
The latest version works only with Windows XP Service Pack 2 and includes many of the features Microsoft has been touting for months.
More on the new features by following the link and from Erik Larkin at PC World.
Update: The direct link to the download is here and this release is formally termed the Beta 2 Preview for IE7.
Update 2: There don’t appear to be any big surprises in this beta. Some reviews:
An excerpt from the latter by Harry McCracken at PC World:
But overall, IE is just not that big a whoop. Mostly, it brings an increasingly antiquated browser up to rough parity with Firefox and Opera, two products which have improved by leaps and bounds during the years that IE has mostly stood still. It does have a few nice features that its rivals don’t, but none of them are life-changing experiences.