Tabbed Browsing User Experience in the Beta 2 Preview


We didn’t introduce tabs in the Beta 2 Preview, but we did improve our experience a lot! We heard a ton of feedback from Beta 1, and made some great changes that I’m confident will be appreciated. I’d like to remind everyone about what we introduced in Beta 1, summarize the feedback we received, and then talk a bit about the big changes to look for in the Beta 2 Preview.

Remembering Beta 1

Not everyone saw our Beta 1 functionality, here are some highlights…

Putting tabs in Internet Explorer

The biggest thing we did in Beta 1 was re-architect IE to support tabs. Tony has a great post explaining exactly how that was done.

We know how useful tabs are, so we decided to promote them to the top level so more people could benefit. This means average people will be introduced to tabs without having to go dig in settings, or context menus. Along with the basic top level tabs we introduced top level tab creation, context menus and middle mouse click to open in new tabs, the ability to close all other tabs or refresh all tabs, as well as the tab overflow behavior.

Some settings you could tweak

We also introduced a few settings to help you customize your behavior. If you don’t like tabs opening in the background by default, simply change the setting. If you don’t like our behavior with pop-up windows, that was another setting. Want to disable tabs? No problem!

Small things you might not have noticed

There are always a ton of interaction details that many won’t notice, but for some these will make or break the features.

Things as simple as automatically setting focus to the address bar when a new tab is created (just think of how many millions of mouse clicks that will save over time πŸ™‚ ), the middle mouse click shortcuts (middle click on the tabs to close, middle click on a link to open in a tab), double click on empty tab band space to open a new tab, Alt+Enter from the address bar or search box to directly open in a new tab etc…

Individually these are small, but they add up.

Your Beta 1 feedback

We heard a couple of consistent points of feedback…

  1. The close button should be on the tab itself
  2. Prompt me before closing all my tabs
  3. It’s hard to see which tab is active
  4. I want tab/favorites integration

In the Beta 2 Preview we’ve addressed all of these (for 3 see “Visual overhaul” below). We also heard a ton of feedback on command/menu positioning, but we will discuss that in another post.

Beta 2 Preview – Show me the new stuff!

Visual overhaul

We updated our tab visuals to tighten up the text/icons to make more room for the page title. We added a line below the tabs that helps bring out the active tab and the tabs themselves have gone through a complete visual update!

New Tab Look

New tab look!

Quick Tabs

Look at Uche’s post from Friday on this new feature that allows you to quickly choose a tab when you have a lot of tabs open.

 

New homepage button!

We introduced the concept of a multi tab homepage in IE in Beta 1. Now in the Beta 2 Preview we enhanced the homepage button so people can manage their tab homepage without needing to go into the Internet Options control panel!

New Homepage Button

New homepage button 

Restore last tab group

When you close a tab set you can now go back and re-open them next time you launch IE. Right click on the tab row to see this action.

Restore Last Tab Group

Restore last tab group

Add tabs to favorites, Open folder in tabs

Now that we have tabs, we made sure that our other features properly leverage the concept. Our Add Favorites functionality now allows you to add the entire tab set as a favorite, and it also promotes an easy way to open any folder in tabs.

 

Arrow UI

Arrow = Open all links in folder in tabs. Don’t get used to this icon though πŸ™‚

What else??

Well, there have been a lot of other changes that you’ll notice with tabs as well. Download the Beta 2 Preview and tell us what you think!

Until next time, keep browsing!

 – Aaron Sauvé

Comments (109)

  1. Adam says:

    How can I have the browser open a new tab every time I type in a new address in the url instead of manually opening a blank tab every time?

  2. Steve says:

    …"just think of how many millions of mouse clicks that will save over time"…

    Yes! This WAS/IS a major pain in IE6!!!!!!

    Very, very anoying!

  3. PetKnep [MSFT] says:

    Adam: Hold Alt when you push enter after typing. Boom, browsed in new tab! Hold Shift+Alt and push enter. Boom, browsed in background tab!

  4. game kid says:

    "Adam: Hold Alt when you push enter after typing. Boom, browsed in new tab! Hold Shift+Alt and push enter. Boom, browsed in background tab!"

    THANK YOU.  This is the perfect example of help we like from the IE Team.  Adam wins the internets.

  5. vslee says:

    Rearrange tabs: What about being able to reorder the tabs like in FF? Or even better: to be able to drag tabs from one IE window to another!

  6. game kid says:

    I meant PetKnep, but thanks and many internets to Adam too, for asking.

  7. Adam says:

    Thank you very much.  Very nice indeed.  You guys have out done yourselves with IE7.

    P.S.  It’s about time. πŸ™‚  I really do love this browser.  I can’t wait for the public version.

  8. Darryl says:

    Is it me or is every single one of these features other than "close button on tab" is already a feature of Firefox?  I was expecting this entry to tell me how IE tabs were different/better.

  9. game kid says:

    "Rearrange tabs: What about being able to reorder the tabs like in FF? Or even better: to be able to drag tabs from one IE window to another!"

    I second that.  It would be a big help, for example, when testing Web pages on a site and they need to be organized for easy viewing.

  10. Brett says:

    The interface is nice when just using what comes out of the box, but quickly breaks down when adding extra toolbars … In sharp contrast, the current IE (with the tabs addon) does a MUCH better job!

  11. Brett says:

    The back and forward buttons are way too small. It is difficult to hit them … PLEASE make them bigger.

  12. Jeff says:

    I loved the old feature of being able to close all my tabs and reopen a group.

  13. Dao says:

    > Is it me or is every single one of these features other than "close button on tab" is already a feature of Firefox?

    Firefox 2 also has a close button on each tab. πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, I don’t get your point.

  14. mors says:

    ""Is it me or is every single one of these features other than "close button on tab" is already a feature of Firefox?  I was expecting this entry to tell me how IE tabs were different/better."" AHA since when ??

    Opera added close buttons on each tab long ago. IE did the same thing, which is good and more intuitive for the user. I’ve yet to see a native close button on each tab on Firecracker.

    Ask Ben http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/ben/archives/009210.html

  15. Xepol says:

    Ok, glad to see the close button on the tabs, makes me happy!

    1. The "Control bar" does funny things when you remove a few of the icons.  It randomly resizes, icons that should be there disappear.  Icons that shouldn’t be there flicker briefly during startup.  When you change tabs, the new control bar repairs itself.  Very annoying.

    2. The tabs are forever shrinking so I end up with smaller and smaller tabs the more I open (which is why I’ve dumped some of the icons from the control bar –  like print, I never practically never print web pages.)  It would be nice if they just eventually overflowed and I could arrow through them.

    3.  Love the homepage button.  Make all the buttons on the quicklink bar which represent folders work exactly the same way (clicking the button body launches all the links in the folder, clicking on the drop down lets me pick sepecific ones).  While we are at it, make the drop down for those quicklinks work exactly like the favorites, since it doesn’t make sense to have 2 different menu systems for favorites and the new system works soooo much better than a plain popup menu.

    4. QUICKTABS always, never quicktabs sometimes.  I might only have 1 tab open, but  still want the quicktabs feature to stay.  Randmonly resizing and moving things really REALLY freaks out the rebar control and just agrevates it.  Besides, the first time I heard about the shortcut for quicktabs (ctrl-q), I said "Quicktabs, what are quicktabs?" and I pressed ctrl-q.  Nothing happened.  Why?  Because I only had 1 tab open.  Is that the user experience you want?  Things that sometimes don’t appear to work?    Put ’em in, leave ’em on, if I only have 1 tab, just show me the 1 tab.

    Finally, again, in past posts, I’ve suggested a hybrid of the print routine and the quicklinks display that shows you a page by page view of the current page for "higher level" viewing of really long pages.  Could you imagine 6 or even 8 pages on the screen at once that let you quickly navigate the current document?  I’ve hit PLENTY of sites that are really long.  A quick look at the site from a "higher perspective", let me click on a page and just autoscroll me to that part of the document would be an AWESOME feature that would really help with long pages.

    Pretty please with sugar on top? You have all the bits, you just need to put ’em all together in the right order!  It would be a really cool feature.  Try it in house, navigate blog sites, document sites (RFCs for example) -> you’ll love it enough to include it foreveryone  I’m sure.  Could you imagine reading a large word document without the same feature? No.  Trust me, awesome feature to add.

    Don’t make me beg.

  16. Alex says:

    The design of the buttons on the top row (back / forward / refresh / cancel / search) have a completely different look than the buttons underneath!

    I guess that is just a result of the beta and will be adressed …

    Please don’t throw in all the glass look in XP, that is all I need, another UI look and feel.

  17. Looks like current Firefox trunk builds have the close button on each tab…

  18. Lord Asriel says:

    What makeing tabs drag able like FF?

    Is so much easier to reorder them…

    That is the last thing you guys need todo to make tabs perfect in IE7:D

  19. Jacob says:

    I don’t like the refresh, stop, home, back, foward, ect all being seperated.  It takes me a little while to find the refresh (its small). Hopefully this will be customizable in next beta.

  20. Michael says:

    This all looks very promising to me!

    However, right now, while typing these lines I would like to open the previous page in a new tab….

    Why? Because I cannot recall what you called the "restore tab group" feature.

    I believe it would make a lot of sense to be able to store tab groups in links or at least in favourites. Restoring the last group is a good start, but when you work in webdesign it often comes in handy to have content management in one tab and the live webpage in the other…

  21. Michael says:

    OK, I’ll take back the second part of the previous post. Sorry, guys.

    However, now I don’t get the back/forward functionality and its history.

    I’ll keep trying.

  22. Aaron Sauve [MSFT] says:

    > 1. The "Control bar" does funny things when you remove a few of the icons.  

    Ah yes, we have seen issues with this and are working on fixing them.

    > 2. The tabs are forever shrinking so I end up with smaller and smaller tabs the more I open … …would be nice if they just eventually overflowed and I could arrow through them.

    They do actually stop shrinking at their min size then clicking on the tabs on the left and right will cycle through the ones that are in overflow.  We’re going to make the UI more intuitive there very soon.

    > 3.  Love the homepage button.  Make all the buttons on the quicklink bar which represent folders work exactly the same way (clicking the button body launches all the links in the folder, clicking on the drop down lets me pick sepecific ones).  ..

    Glad the home butotn is useful!  We are going to make our top level UI work better with tabs, but might not have time to do everything you suggested the first time through.

    > 4. QUICKTABS always, never quicktabs sometimes.  

    We’ve heard feedback both ways on this. Some like the fact that it appears only when it’s useful, like overflow buttons that wouldn’t appear until you go into overflow.  This will be something to keep an eye on.

  23. Dao says:

    > Looks like current Firefox trunk builds have the close button on each tab…

    As I said, it’s scheduled for FF2. Thus it’s on the trunk and the 1.8.1 branch.

  24. Oren Novotny says:

    It would be very useful if an API were exposed for third-party Add-Ins to manipulate tabs.

    There are some features that would be nice to add but that won’t get added by the IE team:

    1) option to open all links from other sites in a new tab (automatically, not with a middle-click)

    2) option to close a tab by double-clicking it.  

    It would seem that it’d be hard to do this without any published api changes.

  25. ThomThom says:

    Any chance of having an option to have the close button for the tab as they are in Firefox 1.5? I find having one close button at a fixed placed availible at the very side of the screen alot easier to use.

  26. Kesav Kolla says:

    It’s very nice to be able to drag a hyperlink and be able to drop them on the tab.  Firefox does support this and this is very convenient.  This is very helpful if I am reading any RSS blogs and want to open a link in a separate tab.  Currently it opens a new tab every time but will be good if I am able to drag the url and drop onto tab to load URL in any tab.

  27. Motmedel says:

    I really don’t care about the tabbed browsing in IE – I just wanted to say: Can you please get of your arse and fix the bloody CSS-support once and for all?!

  28. E B says:

    IE 7 crashes if you try Windows Update (or Microsoft Update) whatever way one tries to get there. This might rate a bit more of a crucial "fix" imperative than most other bugs, what say ye?

  29. Motmedel says:

    Hm.. Ok. My post was rather stupid and I wouldn’t mind if anyone deleted it. Sorry ’bout that – I found the articles about CSS.

  30. Slugsie says:

    There is one nice feature in FF (that not everyone seems to know about)… if you middle click the Back of Forward buttons, then it opens the previous or next page in a new tab. Can we have that in IE7 too please??? πŸ™‚

    (and on the subject of the Back and Forward button, can you get rid of that stupid shadow effect please, it’s so out of place as none of the other buttons have it)

  31. Jeff Davis says:

    The close button on the inactive tabs should always show and be clickable. Currently you have to do two clicks to close an inactive tab (i.e. click to activate tab, then click to close tab).

  32. Xtex says:

    So are we going to be able to reorder tabs, moving them between windows + opening a new window? (both quick tabs & regular tabs)

    Would be nice if we could move the tabs wherever we want though (like on the bottom or side instead – I have a widescreen, so listing the tabs (with the same orientation) only on the side would allow for viewing more tabs without *too* much affect on the pages

    Lastly, could we have a feature to search & sort the tabs?  When you open 30 tabs in 5 windows each, it gets a bit hard to find stuff πŸ˜›

    Oh and depending it’d be nice if the one search could apply to all windows πŸ™‚

    the quicktabs load quickly enough for me… though the main pages don’t <_<

    Firefox & ie6 are a lot faster at loading larger files (such as any page on http://www.giveupalready.com/, and lots of other sites like this)

    Its kind of annoying when it takes several times as long on ie7 to load the same page as opposed to firefox and what it used to in ie6 πŸ™

    Hope it gets fixed by the final release <_<

  33. DanaGoyette says:

    The two things I notice are:

    1.  New Tab button actaully being a tab seems a bit odd to me

    2.  Menu bar below tabs is also odd.

    What I dream would happen is to have you focus your efforts on the rendering and security aspects, and adopt a lot from Maxthon — it gives quite a lot of configurability.  I would want the Aero look added, though.

  34. Shawn says:

    I’m hoping we get to see the following Tab support in IE7:

    * Option for URLs typed in address bar to always open in a new tab

    * Opening a URL from Run box opens in a new tab instead of a whole new IE window

    * Middle clicking just about anything causes the response to open in a new tab

  35. I think one of the only things that I’m not really enjoying about this new beta is that I can’t use "ctrl+a" to select all text in the searchbox or the address bar.

    It sounds like a little thing, but, isn’t a good set of features just a bunch of little things?

  36. Jorgie says:

    Please give us the option to have the close button [X] back where it was in the top-right! (Right next to the search box would be great!) Or even the ability to have both. The existance of one in no way hinders the usefulness of the other.

    One of the most important things to remember when designing a GUI is _consistancy_ and most applications that can have multiple child windows stick with the old MDI way of doing things.

    It think it is great to have the OPTION to put the [X] on the tab but please don’t force us to re-learn how we work. How pissed would the developer community have been it they had made VS2005 so that the [X] was only on the tabs?

    The right-click menu works better anyway because you can right-click and close a specific tab without making it the active tab!

    At the very least give me a close-tab toolbar button so I can put it where ‘I’ want it!

    Jorgie

  37. Don says:

    Consider this scenario:

    I have 2 tabs open.

    I’m in tab 1.  

    I Ctrl+CLICK on a link to open a new tab.

    After viewing the contents of the new tab, I close it.

    Tab 2 is now the active tab.

    Tab 1 should be the active tab!

  38. Daniel says:

    I would really like it if, when you have several tabs open, the X to close a

    tab would appear when you hover where it is supposed to be in a tab that

    isn’t currently open. That way, you could delete a bunch of tabs without

    having to go into every single one first.

    Thanks!

  39. Xepol says:

    Aaron Sauve [MSFT] -> thanks to you and the whole IE team for taking part in this blog, it definitely feels like we are being listened to!

    I have not seen it mentioned anywhere that if you double click in the blank space on the tab bar (to the right of the tabs) that it opens a new tab.  Is this meant to be a permanent feature?

    I have to admit that the one real feature I am missing is open in new window (ctrl-n).  When you use it, it spawns a new browser with a copy of all the browsing history of the current window.  I use it frequently to "fork" my browsing.  It would be helpful if I could do that with tabs also.  Basically open another tab pointed to the same page with the same back/forward history as the current tab.  

    Typically, I use it when I want to keep reading the current page, but also get to a link off the previous page.  Now, I have to go back a page, open a new tab to go forward again. A significantly more disruptive process.

  40. PatriotB says:

    I agree with Xepol’s comments above — I use the same pattern all the time: Ctrl+N, then Back, to fork browsing.  (Though I never used the term "fork browsing" before — it fits pretty well!)

  41. eeoikari says:

    An option which would force all links to open in new tabs instead of opening new browser window would be nice. I’m not sure if the option already somewhere or if it’s under work.

  42. Larry says:

    I personally am happy with nearly every feature that I’ve used on the beta.  One thing that I would like in the final version is for the buttion graphics to be customizable with user specified images.

  43. Slugsie says:

    For all those people asking that the ‘X’ be kept on all tabs to cut down on clicks etc (which I would like to have as an option too for consistency sake at least), you do realise that you can middle click any tab and it will close don’t you?

  44. Dao says:

    > Finally, again, in past posts, I’ve suggested a hybrid of the print routine and the quicklinks display that shows you a page by page view of the current page for "higher level" viewing of really long pages.

    That’s what anchors are for. Sites may add a table of contents, which can be even more useful than in a book or magazine. Furthermore, it can be presented very userfriendly und easily since IE7 supports position:fixed and :hover.

  45. mocax says:

    The tabs look weird in classic "skinless" mode.

    Is Vista in "glass" mode forever? Or are we able to revert to classic?

  46. TheTOM.SK says:

    In B1 I was able open about 5 tabs in 1 second (CTRL+click on a webpage links), in B2 I can hardly open 1 tab in 1 second. I hope, that it will be fixed in final release. πŸ˜‰

  47. scarper says:

    Having the refresh and stop buttons separated from the back and forward buttons and then the home button the tabs line is a bad design. They should be grouped together or at least be able to be customized. I’ve been using IE7 every day for a while now and it annoys me enough that I’ll never get used to it. It’s a deal breaker for me.

  48. __hAl__ says:

    How about some css properties for a tab ? (text en background colour)

  49. Eduardo Valencia says:

    Merge separate IE windows into tabs!!!! please

    Add merge separate IE windows into tabs!!!! please

    Add merge separte IE windows into tabs please!!!!!

    arghhhh :burning:

  50. Ivan says:

    "just think of how many millions of mouse clicks that will save over time".

    It’s great to hear that you understand our needs, but i’d like to see just one more option and it would be perfect for me.

    I’d like to have option that enables opening middle-clicked links in background tabs.

    Thank you guys and keep up the good work.

  51. Ivan says:

    i might be missunderstood, i was talking about links on links bar, not on web pages…

  52. Ross says:

    Previously I posted this question under the IE7 keyboard shortcuts thread, but it went unanswered.

    I have a site opened in an active tab, how do I open a second identical tab? Is there a shortcut to do that?

    It would be nice if I could drag the URL of the active tab from the address bar to an empty new tab. Is there a way to do that?

    Thanks

  53. Christophe says:

    Hi,

    Like Ross, I’m using drag’n’drop a lot.

    With IE7 when I drag a link on another tab, or the "blank" tab, the link appears always in the first tab…

    I thought ti would be great to drag a link on the blank tab and have it open in a new tab for example.

    I could middle-click on the link, but depending on my hardware (old backup mouse, laptop, KVM switch in Server racks) the middle button is not always available.

  54. sybarit says:

    I have configured my Homebutton with 3 tabs.

    So now my 3 pages I need most are open when IE starts. Very good !

    Hovever repated clicks on the homebutton opens 3 + 3 + 3 … new tabs.

    I would prefer if the homebutton had the same general meaning as in IE6, so my 3 start-tabs – pages would reappear and all other disappear.

  55. Mark says:

    I cant open any tabs (even after going in to the internet options and enableing it) i just dont see that whole bar (and when i enabled it i could right click the links and click open in a new tab and never see it so if any one could halp me with that that would be great.

  56. Gene says:

    I’d second that you should be able to double click on a tab to close the tab.  The middle button click to close is nice but on a laptop its just easier for a double click.

    I would also add that if you close a tab spawned by another tab, you’re view should be retured to the parent tab.

  57. John Dawson says:

    I think a useful feature would be automatic tab refreshing. It would be cool if I could set an auto-refresh timer on a tab-by-tab basis. For example, let’s say that I have several tabs open and one contains my favorite stock quote page. I would set the stock tab to auto-refresh every five minutes so that it is always updated.

    Just a thought.

  58. Geoff says:

    I am on a wide screen monitor and I’m sure more and more are going that way in the future, some of my suggestions are geared towards that route…

    Similar to the users comment about a merged print preview and quick tabs view… I would like to be able to see long web pages in side by side page view (like Word).  Also, having the tabs list down the side instead of top (or all menu bars/icons for that matter), something similar to the right preview pane in Outlook 2003.  Or say when you pin the Favorites, add another button for tabs (Tabs | Favorites | Feeds | History).

    Being able to rearrange tabs would be very handy (including going from one window to another), but also when a new tab is opened from a current window, could the new tab appear right next to it, instead of at the end of the list?

  59. Jamie Anderson says:

    Why not make the tab area into another toolbar? This way, if someone didn’t like where the tabs were, they could change it. Also, it’d be good if the tabs could be placed on other borders of the browser window, in the same way that the task bar can attach to any border of the desktop.

    Also, the IE team may want to look at a Firefox tabbed browsing extension called Tab Mix Plus (http://tmp.garyr.net/). It has most options that people want to configure when browsing with tabs. Perhaps there are areas in TMP that haven’t been though of for IE.

  60. Brad Brening says:

    I am fairly happy with the beta, but I’ve found a couple of annoying issues.

    Regarding the tabs, I right clicked and selected "Close Other Tabs" just to see if IE would, in fact, warn me that I was about to do so.  Even though I have the "Do not warn me when closing multiple tabs" option UNCHECKED, I never received a warning.

    Since "Close" and "Close Other Tabs" are so close together, an effective warning system would be appreciated.

    Not regarding tabs, those refresh/stop buttons need to be grouped with the rest of the nav buttons.  It is a real pain mousing left to right, especially at 1440 resolution.  I guess I should just plan on hitting F5 to refresh if my mouse is anywhere near the back/forward button…

  61. nlokshin1 says:

    I’ve downloaded IE 7 and have enjoyed the product so far. However, I have not been able to use the tabs feature, as anything related to tabs is "greyed out". I have checked all tab-related setting and by all appearances they should be working. Any have any ideas? I’d appreciate any help. Thank You

  62. Andrew Denny says:

    I find it confusing to have both tabbed browsing *and* separate browser windows. I quickly lose track of which is which.  I’ve therefore turned off tabbed browsing, but I’d rather have the ability to have tabs but only one IE window.  I wish it was switchable to do this.

    Until then, I’ll switch off tabs, thanks.  (That’s why I stopped using Firefox too, incidentally).

  63. Nick Marino says:

    Sure would be nice to have an option to open new links in a new tab. For example when typing an address in the addres bar it would open that page in a new tab instead of destroying a current tab contents.

  64. jace says:

    @Nick

    Press Alt-Enter to start an URL in a new tab.

    Click with the scroll wheel, or Ctrl+Left Click to open in a new tab.

  65. Stefano J. Attardi says:

    Why are the tabs below the address bar and the navigation buttons?

    Since the address and the buttons relate to the currently active page it would make much more sense to have them inside the page just below the row of tabs.

    Opera gets this right: http://opera.com/docs/screenshots/800/01/

  66. Ross says:

    The new Opera 9’s tabs are a killer

    http://i1.tinypic.com/nv8ldd.png

    Pointing to a inactive tab will give you a small thumbnail preview.

    Opera9 comes with torrent support : -)

    http://labs.opera.com/downloads/

  67. Kevin Dente says:

    One KILLER feature in Firefox with the SessionSaver extension is the ability to remember the currently open set of tabs so that, for example, when you reboot your machine it restores  your open tabs. It would be great if IE7 supported this feature as well – it’s impossible to go back to life without that feature once you’re used to it.

  68. sybarit says:

    Buttons / links in the Links Toolbar.

    How do I make the links to open in a new tab?

    When you read a web page and want make a quick look up in Wikipedia &c.

    It would then be preferably if the Link – button opened in a new tab rather than overwriting what you are currently reading.

    Ok, Ok I know, first click the "New tab" tab but are we not looking for features here?

  69. sybarit says:

    Re Q:

    Buttons / links in the Links Toolbar.

    How do I make the links to open in a new tab?

    I found out myself!

    ——————-

    Use the mouse center wheel to click the button in the [Links toolbar] then it will open in a new tab.

    Wonderful

  70. Rohan Beckett says:

    can any one of the developers please explain the reasoning behind seperating the main navigate/control buttons to all ends of the toolbar.

    I have back/forward in the upper left

    refresh/stop on the far right,

    and home below that.

    on a widescreen LCD, that equates to a LOT of mouse movement – and the fact that the buttons are now *smaller*, means it’s much harder to hit them quickly.

    By all means, try out a new interface, but surely, it can’t be that hard to allow a bit of customization, to let some of us move things around to our liking…

    also.. any chance of allowing some customization of the page-right click menu?

    There are a bunch of options on there, that I’ve never used in 5 years..

    (Encoding, Create Shortcut, add to favourites, export to microsoft excel)

    RB

  71. Tom Taylor says:

    even though the tabs are enabled within the internet settings, they just dont work and i can confirm the same as Dons screen shots. (below and from http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archives/2006/01/23/internet-explorer-7-beta-2-preview/)

    http://www.newelementdesigns.com/images/ie7_1.jpg

    http://www.newelementdesigns.com/images/ie7_2.jpg

    http://www.newelementdesigns.com/images/ie7_3.jpg

    They do not work when installed correctly with the installer, nor do they work when you have ie7 beta v2 running stand alone.

    Previous to trying ie7 beta v2, i had ie 7 beta (v1) even though set as a standalone version screwed ie6’s registry settings so you couldnt browse web pages as they would load into a mozilla based browser such as firefox or flock.

    Tom Taylor

  72. David van Leerdam says:

    I would like to see a visible notice to the user when a updated feed has been downloaded. The way it’s done in SharpReader is very nice. Definitely worth considering.

    Keep up the good work though.

    David van Leerdam

  73. TheTOM.SK says:

    Tom Taylor, what is MD5 of your instaler IE7B2?

    MD5 should be: c91932014e9f27ee5812a8c17624c3f1

    http://img103.imageshack.us/img103/8321/ie7b26bc.jpg

  74. kproth says:

    Regarding #3 ("It’s hard to see which tab is active")… It’s still bloody hard to tell if using the old-style ("classic") windows user interface styling (the one with non-rounded corners on the windows…). The color scheme is backwards from what you’d expect, so it looks like the active tab is actually the inactive one and vice versa…

  75. This has already said by Gene and probably by others, but I would like to suggest that when you close a tab spawned by another tab, you’re returned to the parent tab.

    Or maybe a better way of doing it, would be say if you’ve got 5 tabs open; 1,2,3,4 & 5. If I’m browsing in tab 3 and click a link which opens a new tab, rather than becoming tab 6, it should become tab 3b. Then when I close it, I’ll be returned to tab 3, not annoyingly to tab 5.

    Hope that makes sense! πŸ™‚

  76. Aaron Sauve [MSFT] says:

    > Regarding #3 ("It’s hard to see which tab is active")… It’s still bloody hard to tell if using the old-style ("classic") windows user interface styling (the one with non-rounded corners on the windows…). The color scheme is backwards from what you’d expect, so it looks like the active tab is actually the inactive one and vice versa…

    We will be making improvements to the classic view.  It will look better πŸ™‚

  77. Tom Taylor says:

    I cant even get to the about ie window!

    Something in the registry or a core windows file must be really screwed for it to do this and im not sure what and why! :'(

    Even when installed to the system, or running via stand alone mode, it just doesnt want to play as it just operates like ie6 πŸ™

  78. SimonD says:

    I like the focus going straight to the Address bar when youopen a new tab. However, in Beta 1 when you tabbed from Address Bar it went to the Search Bar AND highlighted what you had in there. In Beta 2 Preview it doesnt. Upon tabbing the cursor appears at the end of the existing search string.

    I miss that highlightingness :o(

  79. Really? It still highlights for me…

  80. streaky says:

    The thing that really riled me about the tabs is that they are always there – even if you are only using one tab at a time they are there taking up valuable ‘real estate’ – I personally can’t think of anything more annoying πŸ™‚

  81. Carole says:

    Hi! So far I love ie7 beta but I noticed that the email button is missing from the toolbar. I know that outlook express is not a part of ie7 but I want an email button on my toolbar that opens my default email program. It should come with a drop down menu: "new message", "read mail", "send link" and "send page" would also be handy.

    Thanks! Keep up the good work.

    Carole.

  82. DSM-Online-Services says:

    Hey guys. Alright, so far I have to say I hate the new Internet Explorer 7. I know that this is still in a preview state, but – well it simply does not work right. Running w/1gb of memory on a 2.96ghz processor – XP home edition – we’ve more than enough power to dig through anything at this point. 3 downloads later, IE 7 still doesn’t work quite right. What is wrong with it? Constant crashes; the tab feature is simply *not* available; and constant sticking of it’s image on everything. Never have I had to refresh my screen so much just to be able to see programs running in the backround. So – tabs don’t work, constant crashes, incompatibility with many web pages…I’m really starting to get quite weary of how this will turn out by it’s public deploy worldwide. If *anyone* – developers, fellow ware junkies, perhaps a monkey that can move the mouse around can figure out *how* to turn on the tabbed browsing – I’d love to know! (Please, no smart remarks, certainly not a newb here) michaelstigers@dsmonlineservices.com – Finally IE may have caught up with the rest of the browser world…but I’ve yet to see it. HELP!

  83. DSM-Online-Services says:

    Hey guys. Alright, so far I have to say I hate the new Internet Explorer 7. I know that this is still in a preview state, but – well it simply does not work right. Running w/1gb of memory on a 2.96ghz processor – XP home edition – we’ve more than enough power to dig through anything at this point. 3 downloads later, IE 7 still doesn’t work quite right. What is wrong with it? Constant crashes; the tab feature is simply *not* available; and constant sticking of it’s image on everything. Never have I had to refresh my screen so much just to be able to see programs running in the backround. So – tabs don’t work, constant crashes, incompatibility with many web pages…I’m really starting to get quite weary of how this will turn out by it’s public deploy worldwide. If *anyone* – developers, fellow ware junkies, perhaps a monkey that can move the mouse around can figure out *how* to turn on the tabbed browsing – I’d love to know! (Please, no smart remarks, certainly not a newb here) michaelstigers@dsmonlineservices.com – Finally IE may have caught up with the rest of the browser world…but I’ve yet to see it. HELP!

  84. joe says:

    Fantastic work. IE 7 Beta 2 Preview is running smoothly on my computer WinXP SP2, Thikpad T41 2373. It’s more stable than I expected. Despite the constant crashes (to be expected from betas) the user experience is fantastic. Quick Tabs is a must have and the number reason I will stick with IE. If the production version is bullet-proof against crashes, then this realease will be a success.

  85. Mike. says:

    Perhaps a keyboard shortcut to duplicate the page I’m currently looking at into a new tab? Kind of like What Ctrl+N did for IE6, but with tabs as opposed to windows.

    Keep up the good work!

  86. Wayne Knight says:

    The favorites pane shows in popup browser situations. There’s no way to close the pane

  87. David Walker says:

    I don’t see an option, when right-clicking on a link, to open it in a new tab, is that available?  I use that in Avant Browser (an overlay to IE) all the time.

  88. David Walker says:

    Oh yeah, the reason I would like to see an option when right-clicking on a link, to "open in new tab" is that I don’t have a middle mouse button, and ctrl-click just seems awkward.  I don’t usually use the keyboard when reading web pages.  And some people don’t have two hands  πŸ™‚

    Adding "open in new tab" to the right-click menu for a link won’t disrupt any existing functionality either.

  89. Aldrik says:

    I know tabs are probubly the most requested feature for IE7.

    But I think having every program implement it’s own way of tabbing pages &/or documents is a step backwards. (Such a feature should be controled by the system OS/shell)

    For those of us that like to have more efficient and flexible use of screen space could you please include a option to turn them off.

    PS. A right click + scroll wheel option to scroll through tabs would also be useful as implemented in opera (then "Alternative Page Cycle Mode" is set to 1 and "Window Cycle Type" set 2).

    Thanks. πŸ™‚

  90. Ozzie says:

    I’m new here, and maybe I’ve missed something -not only do the tabs don’t work (it wasn’t introduced in beta 2? if so what’s the point?)

    Okay, assuming they work – how about mouseover switching to the tab? This beta release has me really puzzled.

  91. Mark says:

    Hey guys, nice work on IE7 – I really think it’s shaping up nicely, just hope the innovation doesn’t slow down again after this one ;o)

    I would like to see a feature (probably more related to the Favorites Center than tabs, but hey…) where I can make a shortcut icon for tab-group favourites. So for instance I could have my "Shopping" tab group shortcut on the desktop, and it will open IE with Amazon, eBay, Froogle etc.. ready to go.

  92. Ralph says:

    Regarding what Don said about the tab to become active after closing another… if you implement it, please make it configurable (same applies to the open-new-tab-next-to-active and only-show-tab-bar-when-needed / there’s-more-than-one-tab-open features)  It’s something Opera allows, but I’m too used to Fx behaviour, and I would really like to change Opera’s rather than Fx’s

    I also believe that a close-button-in-each-tab has more sense for inactive-tabs than for the active one (well, I can use Ctrl+W to close the current tab) -and as far as I can tell we have to "add new tab" buttons-  On the other hand, re-ordering the tabs is a must-have, and it may even be like Opera, where can drag a tab out of a window and it opens that tab in a new window (also, pop-up windows have it’s own tab but they float _inside_ its parent window, unless you drag it out)

    One more thing, as this UI is closer to Opera’s and Fx’s behaviour, what about setting the focus to the address bar with Ctrl+L (and the search box with Ctrl+k), or at least make it configurable? (same goes for the request of "middle-clicking in pretty much anywhere opens a new tab", it’s just too useful)

    –since you don’t seem to agree as of how should W3c standards be handled, at least I would like to make the per-browser-tests as painless as possible.

    As for the comment of Stefano about movieng the address bar below the tabs (like Opera does), I would really hope you can make it configurable.  I can set this behaviour in Fx, but I cannot revert it in Opera (unless I change some other bar above the tabs) and _that’s_ a pain! –I don’t care if that should be the "correct" way, although it does has sense.  By the way, Opera’s torrent support just screw my torrents if Opera it’s not my default-torrent-handler app itself, but… its session handling in better than Fx’s extension (IMHO)

    PS  About the "articles about the bloody CSS-support" Motmedel mentioned, where can I find them?  So far I find IE7-b2 acts pretty much the same as IE6 did in a some-what complex layout, as for Fx and Opera are fine with it

    PPS  Sorry for the long post

  93. Robert Yodlowski says:

    I think that tabs would be easier to use if RMB, "Open in new Tab" on a link would automatically make the new tab active rathen than bring up the tab in the background and leave the view in the existing tab. "Open in new Window works like that. Why not "Open in new Tab" as well?

    …Bob

  94. Benjamin says:

    Keep up the good work…though I would prefer having the tab bar on the bottom of the page instead of top…could this be done? Thanx.

  95. Wayne Luke says:

    Overall I like the tabbed browsing implementation in Beta 2. I especially love the tab list functionality. Sometimes my work requires me to have a decent number of tabs open (10 or more) and it gets hard to see the names of the tabs. Every browser should have this list function.

    However there are two features that I think are missing and would be wonderful additions.

    1) Re-order Tabs: A User should be able to drag and drop the tabs into a new order if they need to. This would help me get organized.

    2) There needs to be an option to save all tabs at close. This would be a special "Working Set" bookmark and one click to open them all again or they can reopen at start-up. The bookmark functionality would have greater benefit to more people.

  96. Trem says:

    Will there be a possibility to run ie7 in single instance mode? i like this feature in maxthon and it’s one of the things that made me hate the default tab implementation in firefox, fortunatley they’ve fixed it in the latest version. I can’t see the point of having tabs if every single click on a url outside of ie will spawn a new window instead of a tab.

    i hope this didn’t sound too harsh, i love the progress you’ve made with ie7 beta 2, this is the only issue i see holding it back.

  97. Ronin says:

    Yes, as strange as it might sound, I am ‘trying’ to convert from Firefox to IE7… and the sole reason being that I really like Windows apps (I have had my times of bad mouthing MS though…) but regardless of that, most of your apps are good. Anyways, back to topic, I would really love to make IE7 my default browser… but frankly there are a few things I miss from Firefox (esp because of its extensions) and a few things which are more like suggestions. You can ofcourse take a call on what you might want to implement:

    Overall, I would love to see the following:

    1. Better Tabbed browsing behavior:

    – Option to open new tabs next to Current Tab

    – I have seen a rather peculiar (disturbing) behavior in IE7. I have seen that at times when I open a new tab (either through address bar or links or whatever), sometimes it Over-writes a tab which is not active (i.e. in the background). Frankly this is unacceptable. IE in no way should decide on what background tab I want to over-write. Please correct this. By default only the current tab should be over-written if I have not Ctrl-Clicked a link.

    – Continuing from the point above, an option could be provided whereby I can select to not ‘over-write’ my current tab from these places especially (new address bar url, new search, RSS, Favorites)… hence any activity from these places should open a new tab.

    – Your tab-overflow portion has been elegantly handled. Its the best in any browser by far. Had a suggestion there, in the dropdown list of tabs beside the quick-tabs, could you provide a close button so that the user can close a tab directly from there instead of having to open it first.

    – Ability to ‘Lock’ tabs

    – Show close button when I hover on background tabs so I don’t have to focus on them to close them.

    – Ability to drag and drop

    – Single window mode (thats one of the primary aims of tabbed browsing, isn’t it)

    2. Explorer Bar (Sidebar)

    This is a good stuff, but has a greater potential. Right now I can see it being used for ‘Research’. It would be great to have an option of opening a web page in this sidebar (explorer bar), in a resized, small screen view (see Opera for what I mean). In the favorites properties we could have an option of opening a particular favorite in sidebar ‘Always’ (see Firefox). And a context menu on the normal web page to open it in sidebar.

    3. RSS

    First, I must say this is among the neatest implementations among most browsers. Suggestions:

    – How about going a step ahead of other browsers in this and providing a 3-pane view. Feed->Headlines->Actual Web page…. right in one page. It would be fantabulous. Something like three pane view of MS Outlook 2003.

    4. Search

    This one is the most important function for me personally. Suggestions:

    – Ability to conduct keyword searches in Address Bar (Firefox/Opera9)… and not just that but like Opera9/Firefox, also having the ability to right click on a search form in any page and be able to provide a keyword for it. This can currently be done through registry edit, but then I am sure you agree, thats hardly a feature πŸ™‚

    5. Session Saving

    You already have the basic session saving functionality (Restore Last Tab Group). An extension to this functionality saying that ‘Always open last tab group’ would be great.

    Another small thing of being able to open a/any ‘Group’ from favorites as home page would be good.

    And lastly, ability to reopen closed tabs – list which can be cleaned up while closing IE (you would understand that with tabs, users can very easily close a tab by mistake).

    I hope you don’t mind my using comparisons with Firefox/Opera, coz I think its never a bad idea to adopt good things from others in the user’s interest especially in things like a browser which have an impact on the lives of users universally. And if you feel that this is only one way, well, frankly I really think both FF/Opera need to adopt a few things from IE7… let me leave the details here, its not important for this forum.

    Thanks for listening.

  98. Ronin says:

    When you it ‘Enter’ after entering a single word in the address bar, normal search is performed and serch results are displayed on the screen. But if you hit Alt+Enter after entering a single word, an error is displayed in a New Tab instead of the search results displaying in the ‘New Tab’. Though if a ‘phrase’ or more than one word is entered and then you hit ‘Alt+enter’ it works fine and search results are displayed in a New Tab.

    Looks like a Bug?? Behavior should be the same with a single word and a phrase.

  99. bell phone says:

    Keep up the good work! but i and my friends would prefer having the tab bar on the bottom of the page instead of top…could this be done?



    http://www.phonebell.net/

  100. Brett Jiu says:

    I hate tabs.  Why do so many geeks like tabbed browsing?  I like being able to see the titles of my IE windows in the task bar esp. when I have all the IE windows minimized at work.  Tabs suck big time!

  101. Scott says:

    I would like to see the ability to move toolbars around. If you install yahoo or google toolbars there is a lot of wasted space. If you could move around the menu with Home, print and tools like you could in IE6 it would be helpful.

  102. Mike says:

    Will there be a way to programmatically open a new tab in Javascript?

    (Also,  can you fix the textbox dropdown autocomplete options?  It only works about half the time).

    Thanks

  103. Brad Schmidt says:

    If i have multiple listed homepages in settings, IE does open each of them on a different tab, when i start the browser.

    that is Cool.

    However, if I hit the home button it refreshes the current main tab as the home page, but adds additional tabs of the other home pages from settings, even if they are already there. So, say I have home page x and home page y listed in settings, they open on two tabs. Each time i hit the home button, x will refresh, and an additional tab of y will be generated, evenutally filling the entire tab list.

  104. ieblog says:

    Mike,

    There are no new methods to specifically open a tab. It is too open to abuse.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]