review from ClifNotes, May 2006
After all the warnings and horror stories I've heard about problems with the beta versions of IE7, it took a little courage for me to try it out. So far, I haven't seen any ill effects from installing IE7 beta, but was it worth the download?
Short answer: No!
Long answer below.
I downloaded the 12mb IE7 beta installer from Microsoft and fired it up. What's the first thing it wants to do? Microsoft wants to spy on my PC to see if I have a legitimate copy of Windows. I make certain all my software is legal, so I let it proceed. It only took a few seconds.
Now the installer tells me it wants to get the most recent updates for IE and install them. Okay, this one took a few minutes while I twiddled my thumbs waiting for it to finish.
Finally it starts actually installing. When it finishes, guess what? It wants me to reboot my PC. Why can't Microsoft install programs without so many major changes to the OS that you are forced to reboot?
The first pages IE7 shows me are a settings page and feature tour. I set my settings and took the tour. At this point, I'm underwhelmed. The tour didn't show me any features I don't already enjoy while using FireFox. Maybe it's lighter and faster than Firefox? Let's try it and see.
The new installation of IE didn't change my home page, but it did change my default search site. It's not too hard to change it back, but if they see I'm already using another search site, why don't they use it?
My home page is a website I created on my PC and it has all the links to my most frequently used sites. It's also set up to open any clicked links in a new browser window. IE failed my first test by opening the links in a new IE browser window instead of a new tab. I haven't checked, but there may be a way to change that. I can't complain too much about that, I had to change my Firefox settings to get the same results. The OperaBrowser always does it right first try.
After getting started surfing, things went downhill from there. Websites opened in new tabs very slowly. Within a few minutes of surfing, I felt like I was back on a dialup modem connection. It never did improve. In fact, I had to switch back to Firefox to write this article, because I got sick and tired of waiting on the browser to open new pages.
After surfing awhile, I closed the IE7 browser, and up pops one of those cryptic Microsoft error messages and an offer to send information to the mothership. It didn't cause any problems that I could detect, and I was able to restart IE7 with no problems. After surfing a bit longer, IE7 froze up while I was composing a page in this wiki. That was the final straw for me. I'm uninstalling it now!
Amazing! It actually works. The uninstall was rather lengthy but my IE6 is back to normal (after the required reboot).
It's not ready for my PC. I may have an older PC but I doubt if that's the reason IE7 was so slow. FireFox and OperaBrowser both fly at warp speed compared to the beta version of IE7. There may be other issues that my Windows XP is suffering from that are causing the new tab delay, but I'm not willing to take the time to work on it if I don't have to. IE7 go away, come back again some other day.
Download IE7 beta at your own risk