Internet Explorer 7 beta 2

IE7 beta 2 is out, and all the MS bloggers are pimping it, so I thought I’d actually check out the site (I might install it at work, but there’s no chance I’m installing it at home).

So you visit the IE7 homepage and you’re greeted by a terrible mid-1990s flash animation touting IE’s new features, all of which sound quite remarkably similar to features everyone who uses Firefox and Opera has been using for a few years now. Finally, you’ll realise that this isn’t actually a splash page that is going to forward to actual content, but the scrolling words are clickable items and then when you scroll down (my monitor’s currently at 1024×768, I have two large-ish toolbars and the navigation menu for the page isn’t visible in Firefox or IE6 – didn’t we solve scalable Flash about seven years ago?) you’ll find the actual navigation, from where you can get to the tour.

I was actually looking forward to the tour, I ignored the first IE7 beta because it was bound to be terrible, but now I’m keen to see the new cutting-edge features:

Tabbed browsing! Streamlined user interface!

Oh dear.

Instant RSS feed detection! Toolbar search box!

Oh deary dear.

Unless they’ve got something spectacular to pull out of the hat, I think I pity the IE7 developers. I mean, they’ve been working for a good couple of years now, and they’re just approaching Opera and Firefox’s heels? I haven’t seen much of the Internet’s response, but I think they’re going to be ripped apart for this. I initially took Rod Begbie’s comment with a pinch of salt, but it’s dead on:

Microsoft have released a public beta of IE7. The homepage is a staggeringly fucking awful flash animation, promising “Everything you need, nothing you don’t, and a few things you have yet to imagine”, before displaying a list of Firefox’s features.

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