This evening we released IE7 Beta 2 at http://www.microsoft.com/ie. This release is not the preview or the update to the preview, but the real Beta 2 of IE7 for Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows XP 64-bit Edition. Simply: please try it.
We acted on a lot of the feedback and bug reports from the previous public releases. In particular, I feel good about changes we made based on reports from web developers around some CSS behaviors, application compatibility feedback, reliability data (yes, we do analyze the information that comes when you click “Send Error Report”), and user experience feedback. People on the team will post additional details about changes over the next few days.
For those of you outside the United States, we will release German, Finnish, Arabic, and Japanese versions over the next three weeks.
This beta is another step to our goal of delivering a safer and easier browsing experience when we release the final IE7 product in the second half of this year. I’m looking forward to reading the feedback – positive and negative – as it comes in. Beyond consumers, I encourage developers, web developers, designers, and IT Pros to use Readiness Toolkit to deliver the best possible experience to end users in IE7.
For this Beta 2 release, we’re taking the extra step of offering no-charge phone support to consumers in North America, Germany and Japan. We’re offering phone support to encourage people who usually shy away from beta software to try IE7 Beta 2. We believe that IE7 – even at this beta stage – is a significant improvement and we want as many people as possible to try it and use it. IE7 is feature complete and has been through significant compatibility and reliability testing. People (especially technology enthusiasts) will have a good experience with it.
What’s next? Windows Vista Beta 2, and then Beta 3 of IE7, release candidates, and then a final release before end of year.
P.S. Please remember to uninstall any previous IE7 builds before installing this one: Control Panel, Add / Remove Programs, Show Updates, scroll to the bottom.