Yesterday, rumors were circulating stating that the IE 7 beta 1 release causes the Google and Yahoo! toolbars to vanish. As Dean stated in Scoble’s blog, we support Google’s and Yahoo’s (and anyone else’s) toolbar in Beta 1 and will do so in the final release.
In our internal testing, we have not encountered these problems in the released version of IE 7 tech beta. (There was a bug like this in earlier builds, so it’s possible that the report came from someone who had access to our pre-beta builds.) In addition to our own testing, we’re working with Yahoo!, Google, and others to make sure their solutions continue to work with IE 7. It’s our intent that all toolbars should continue to work well, whether the toolbar was present before the upgrade from IE 6 to IE 7 or if it was installed after IE 7 was installed. It’s possible that some people are having problems with IE 7 and their toolbars; this was not our intent and we want to know about these issues quickly so we can resolve them before final release. This is why we have a technical beta program before releasing the software broadly.
Another rumor was that we were setting MSN to be the default (and only) search provider. This is not true. The drop down list in the search box has five search providers: AOL, Ask Jeeves, Google, MSN, and Yahoo!. For clean installations who do not have a search provider already set (Windows Vista users primarily), MSN is the default search provider. For upgrades, we respect the user’s address bar auto search setting and set the default accordingly. If it’s one of the providers in our list, we set the default to that provider; if the search provider is not on the list, we add it to our list.
The user can then change default search providers easily via Search Settings dialog (available from the search drop down). This also changes the user’s auto search provider (we keep them synched). In addition, users can remove search providers via this dialog. In Beta 2 users will also be able to add new search providers as well.
We are absolutely committed to working with third parties building on top of Internet Explorer’s functionality, whether it is toolbars or search providers (or anything else for that matter). If you’ve found bugs with anything in Beta 1 (whether or not it’s toolbar related), please let us know! Additionally, we’d love to hear your feedback about about the browser as a whole, whether you love it or hate it. We really appreciate all the comments we receive and we’ll continue to make changes based on what we hear.