Editors' Note: The Download Now link will take you to the Microsoft download site, where you can select your operating system: Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition, or Windows Server 2003 ia64 Edition.
For a detailed analysis of IE7, read CNET Senior Editor Robert Vamosi's extended review.
Microsoft's next iteration of Internet Explorer is predictably a solid contender in the browser category. A sleeker and more spare interface will have some old IE users running for the preferences, but even with fewer buttons the new IE works fine right out of the gate. The adoption of tabs is a welcome change for more efficient browsing, and the Quick Tabs feature is an especially nice touch for viewing the contents of all of your tabs in one window. The addition of a RSS feed manager is nice for news addicts, blog fans, and hobbyists, but we would like a way to search for RSS feeds beyond only adding the ones we come across. We also like the integrated search bar that offers a pull-down menu, letting you add your favorite search engines and sites quickly.
A welcome addition is an antiphishing option to check a site's legitimacy, which you can enable at first launch. While Internet Explorer doesn't offer the user-made plug-ins, themes, and extensions found in other browsers such as Firefox and Opera, there are several useful plug-ins you can choose from at Microsoft's Web site. Finally, security concerns with what will undoubtably be the most used Web browser are always an important consideration, but with the proper security programs, most people will be able to surf safely. Overall, we find the latest version of Microsoft's megabrowser to be a fine way to browse the Web, with the addition of many long-awaited features that make the entire Web experience more efficient and enjoyable.
Internet Explorer 7 provides improved navigation through tabbed browsing, Web search right from the toolbar, advanced printing, easy discovery, and reading and subscription to RSS feeds. Internet Explorer 7 provides security through a robust new architecture, security features that help defend against malicious software (also known as malware), and new ways to better protect against the theft of personal data from fraudulent Web sites, a practice known as phishing. Internet Explorer 7 has improved support for cascading style sheets, a rich RSS feeds platform, and robust tools for deploying and managing Internet Explorer 7 in large enterprise environments.