As announced earlier this month, Microsoft was ready to release a final version of Internet Explorer 7. Well, they’ve kept their word. It is available for download since a couple of days ago.
I’ve just installed it, not a real difference with Release Candidate 2 but I just wanted to try it out. First of all, I think Microsoft did a pretty good job. I’ve been using the new browser all day and nothing strange happened. I like the tabbed browsing (that’s why I always use firefox) although I’m not a big fan of the user interface. For instance, why did they put a close button on each tab? Now I have to search for the right button every time I want to close a single tab. Just leave the close button where it belongs, in the top right corner.
Today it became clear that MS really did a good analysis of the success factors of Firefox. Look what they have launched: the IE7 extension site. Microsoft calls it add-ons, but by the first look it is exactly the same as the extensions that made firefox a popular browser. Microsoft seems to have missed one tiny aspect though: the community! Oke, you are able to leave a comment about an add-on but that’s as far as it goes. No open-source character, you even have to pay for quite a lot of add-ons. Missed opportunity. Too bad.
Matt Cutts wrote a short review on Firefox 2.0, sounds like a better option than IE7 to me.
Update: wow, they do have a community! It features newsgroup discussions and popular downloads! I rest my case.