I installed the Beta 2 of Internet Explorer 7 yesterday. It is buggy as one might expect from a beta. Here is my review.
1. The menu bar with File, Edit and others did not show up. I was forced to press “Alt + F” in order to access the menus.
2. When I tried to download plugins, a new window opens with extra blank tabs.
I really like the option to thumbnail all open tabs. This is quite convenient. It allows me to easily see all the items that I currently have open like a picture gallery. Clicking on a thumbnail brings that tab into focus and takes you out of the open tabs screen.
Internet Explorer’s fullscreen option (F11) is much improved. The address bar and navigation buttons slide off to the top of the screen similar to the way the navigation buttons move in Windows Media Player. Once the status bar was disabled, I was able to browse without any distractions on the screen while utilizing maximum screen space. Kudos on the elegant visual interface, Microsoft.
It is commendable that Microsoft provided the option to change the search in the corner of the browser to whichever engine you desire. MSN is the default, but I added searches for eBay and Google. I will add a Wikipedia search once it is available.
It takes quite some time for Internet Explorer to load up. This may be fixed when the final release comes out, but if this is the performance to be expected in the final release, watch out. It is far behind competitors such as Firefox and Opera.
The find option in Internet Explorer still uses a separate window instead of a toolbar. It is annoying to have to close that window to go to whatever I have searched for in a web page. I would prefer it to resemble the Firefox mode where it is docked at the bottom. Also, a few more find options would be helpful.
Internet Explorer does support plugins. This is a great feature because I frequently use a variety of plugins for Firefox. Internet Explorer has a system is in place for organizing available plugins. At the moment, there are only junk plugins available such as search toolbars. If Microsoft releases an easy to use SDK for modules, I could see a lot of great customizations.
Fonts look especially nice in IE. They look better than Firefox. However, whatever was used seems to blur the text somewhat. This may cause eye strain with extended use.