Microsoft made a some big waves today by releasing the first public beta of Internet Explorer 7. Unlike the previous beta, which was closed to developers. This one features many crucial fixes as far as how it renders pages. Tons of the most notorious CSS bugs have been squashed and some other nice-to-have features been added. Transparent PNG support made it into the first beta, so there’s 2 huge things right there that should make all web designers rejoice. Now [Microsoft], finish this shit up and roll it out to the masses, stat!
Being a designer and a Windows user, I was obviously anxious to see how IE 7 was coming along. I installed it right away and no surprise, it replaced IE 6. Probably not a big deal for the average user, but I still need IE 6 for testing purposes. I remembered having older versions of IE 5 and 5.5 back in the day and after a quick search made my way back to evolt.org – Browser Archive. Low and behold, in the standalone IE directory, there’s a version of IE 6. I quickly downloaded it, fired it up and sure enough, it works!
Problem solved. Now when I must use IE for things like Windows updates or those [other] ridiculous sites that force you to use the handicapped browser that is Internet Explorer – I can use IE 7 without enduring too much pain.
One down-side though. Firefox plugins such as IE View and IE Tab use IE 7. That’s kind of a bummer since I use them pretty frequently. But I can always toss up a Quick Launch icon or map to one of my many, un-used keyboard shortcut buttons. I think that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.