Sunday, March 11, 2007 12:16 PM
On February 15, 2005, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced that the new version of its browser would be released at the RSA Conference 2005 in San Francisco. The decision to update the browser occurred in the wake of declining market share due to the spread of the Mozilla Firefox browser. Microsoft also stated that Internet Explorer 7 is available only for Windows XP SP2 and later, including Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Vista. The first beta version of the browser was released on July 27, 2005 for technical testing, and a first public preview version of Internet Explorer 7 (Beta 2 preview: Pre-Beta 2 version) was released on January 31, 2006. The final public version was released on October 18, 2006. Version 7 is intended to defend users from phishing as well as deceptive or malicious software, and it also features full user control of ActiveX and better security framework, including not being integrated as much with Windows as previous versions, thereby increasing security. It also includes important bug fixes, enhancements to support the web standards, improvements in HTML 4.01/CSS 2, Tabbed Browsing with Tab preview and management, a multiple engine search box, a web feeds reader, Internationalized Domain Name support (IDN), and Antiphishing filter. The new version also blocks applets such as Flash movies and Java, the latter of which could add malware to the user's computer.