It’s crazy to me that I’ve been in this new role for just over a year now, in fact, it’s just about 13 months. In that time, I’ve seen IE7 ship, taken on new products like Expression Web and Visual Web Developer, met so many fantastic developers and designers and have had the awesome opportunity to travel all over the place for work.
Today, we updated the installation experience to make IE7 available to as many Windows users as possible. As of today, IE7 will no longer require Windows Genuine Advantage validation, and will be available to all Windows XP users. If you’re not already running IE7, you can get it from the Internet Explorer home page on Microsoft.com. We’ve made a few other small tweaks to the UI, including enabling the menu bar by default, and created a new MSI installer that simplifies deployment for IT administrators in the enterprise environment.
But what changes did we make for developers? In short, none. The IE7 Installation and Availability Update is all about changing the packaging and setup. The binaries didn’t change, so pages will render and behave exactly as they did with the version of IE7 many people already have today. We decided that rather than releasing a new build with a few small fixes now, we would put our major efforts into the next version of Internet Explorer. Keeping the browser text matrix small is important to most of the developers we talk to. This means that you don’t need to retest your website if you’ve already tested it with IE7.
There is a KB article on the changes that we made available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940767
I’m excited about what Internet Explorer has in store for the future, we’re busy working on the next version of Internet Explorer; and I am looking forward to sharing it with you!