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Old 29th June 2006, 08:02 PM
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Good Bad News For IDNs

June 29, 2006 (Computerworld) -- Microsoft today posted a mildly revised and more secure Beta 3 version of Internet Explorer 7 free for public download.

New features and functionality in the Beta 3 release include:

* All security updates for IE7 released through June.
* The ability to drag-and-drop reorder browser tabs in the tabbed-browsing bar.
* The reappearance of the optional read e-mail button for the customizable "Command" bar, or main toolbar.
* The Web page zoom-in scaling feature adds a horizontal scroll bar automatically.
* A global RSS feed settings dialog.
* A global RSS "refresh now" function (which wasn't evident in the preview build).
* Additional work carried out since the Beta 2 release aimed at improving Web-site compatibility.
Missing from the what's new list, and perhaps the most significant change since the Beta 2 release, is Microsoft's publicly stated commitment -- first articulated by Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on May 24 at Microsoft's WinHEC conference in Seattle -- that IE is being placed back on a fast, 18-month development cycle after IE7 ships.

"If it takes longer than 18 months to ship the next version of Internet Explorer, then we're not doing our jobs right," said Gary Schare, Microsoft's General Manager of Internet Explorer.

In response to a question about why IE7 isn't expanding features and functionality more aggressively, Schare acknowledged that the goal of IE7 wasn't to win back market share from Mozilla, but merely to update IE7 to currently expected levels of browser functionality. The shorter development track could mean that browser users will see a far more advanced IE some time in 2008.

Computerworld obtained a late "preview" version of IE7 Beta 3, which did not have all the bug fixes and refinements Microsoft projected would be evident in the version now available for public download. The added usability tweaks are welcome, but the preview code did exhibit some minor performance and reliability issues.

The preview of Beta 3 takes up 12.8MB of hard drive space. IE7 requires Windows XP Service Pack 2. It's important to uninstall any previous version of IE7 before installing this one. Installation of beta software is not recommended in production environments.

IE7 does install some operating system components; it may be uninstalled from Add or Remove Programs.
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Old 29th June 2006, 08:33 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

What's the bad news?
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Old 29th June 2006, 08:36 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

18 months after the release of IE7 = 2008. The comment in bold is refering to IE8. IE7 is a part of Vista. Vista will be released late this year/early next year. I have been told to expect the release of IE7 in November.
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Old 29th June 2006, 08:36 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Yeah, I don't see the bad news in this. Beta 3 is out sooner than most of us expected. And things seem on track for an early September release.
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Old 29th June 2006, 08:38 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Good news is that buggy and insecure features might be removed to expedite the commercial release of IE7 - which makes the year end release even more certain. Bad news is whether they will cut off IDN support in the process? Someone ought to verify that IDN features are still included in beta3.
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Old 29th June 2006, 08:51 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

IDN are not mentioned

back to ASCII Domains....?

Back in April, we took a look at Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 Beta 2 (see my review) for Windows XP, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003, a product Microsoft described at the time as being feature complete. Since then, the company has been updating IE 7 in several ways, and we can see the results of this labor in Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 3, released on June 29, 2006, and the version of IE 7.0+ that's included in Windows Vista build 5456 (see my overview and screenshot gallery).

Because IE 7.0 Beta 2 was feature complete, there's little point in going over the many advances Microsoft has baked into that release. Instead, check out my Beta 2 review if you're not familiar with IE 7, and in this review we can focus on what's new in Beta 3. As with previous IE 7 releases, I'm happily surprised by what Microsoft's come up with here. I'm no fan of previous IE versions, especially the lackluster 5.x and 6.x versions, but IE 7.0 is shaping up to be a must-have upgrade. I still feel that most users would be better off with a more feature-packed browser like Firefox. But the reality is that most people use IE and will continue to do so. All of those people should be upgrading to IE 7.0.
New features in Beta 3

As noted above, IE 7.0 Beta 2 was described as feature complete. However, over the ensuing months, Microsoft was able to add in a few features that were at the top of user requests. So Beta 3 does, in fact, include a few new features, one of which is significant.

The most important new feature is drag and drop tab reordering. Now, you can move your tabs around with the mouse easily (Figure) and position them as you'd like. Then, when you save a tab group, they will be in the order you prefer. Microsoft compares this feature to the way you can drag and drop slides in PowerPoint. And it's worth noting that this functionality is only available in the normal display mode: You can't drag and drop the panels around in Quick Tabs, which is a static view.

During the development of IE 7, Microsoft examined all of the features, icons, and other widgets that were in IE 6 and trimmed out the ones they felt were being underused. One of the dropped features was the Read Mail toolbar button, but it turns out that many very vocal people actually use this feature. (Indeed, I'd gotten several queries about it myself.) So based on user feedback, the Read Mail toolbar button is back (well, it's a Command Bar button now), though it's not on by default: To enable it, you need to summon the Customize Toolbar dialog (which, again, is misnamed) (Figure).

Microsoft has also improved the new zoom functionality to include a horizontal scroll bar. In the original implementation of this feature, only a vertical scroll bar would appear, stranding some users on pages with wide left-to-right content. Now, it's possible to see the entire page while zooming, even on massively horizontal Web sites.

Under the covers, IE 7 has also been improved in numerous ways with better Web site compatibility and all of the IE-based security fixes that Microsoft shipped as part of its June 2006 patch day. If you're running IE 7.0 Beta 2 and want those fixes, you'll need to install Beta 3.

Additionally, IE 7.0 Beta 3 includes a lot of fit and finish work. Icons and graphics have been updated, and the whole thing as a new polished look to it.
Installing IE 7.0 Beta 3

If you're already running IE 7.0 Beta 2, you will need to uninstall that product and reboot before you can install IE 7.0 Beta 3. It's worth doing so: Beta 3 offers plenty of small improvements over Beta 2 and the latest security fixes. IE 7.0 Beta 3 is stable enough to run on production machines. And if you do choose to uninstall it, you'll get IE 6 back automatically when you reboot.
Internet Explorer 7+ for Windows Vista

Since shipping IE 7.0 Beta 2, Microsoft has announced that the version of IE included with Windows Vista will be marketed as Internet Explorer 7+ to differentiate it from the version users will be able to download for other Windows versions. Many but not all of the Beta 3 changes listed above are also present in build 5456 of Windows Vista, and one might expect the remaining changes to show up in a future Vista build. IE 7+ will not be made available separately for other operating systems.
Availability

Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 3 is available for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). It is completely free and will ship in the same number of language versions as its predecessor. Some localized versions will ship in a week or so.

Looking ahead, Microsoft intends to ship more public beta releases of IE 7. The next one, due in "late summer," will likely be labeled as Release Candidate 1 (RC1). Microsoft still intends to ship the final version of IE 7 right around the same time as it completes Windows Vista, so think October/November 2006.
Conclusions

Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 3 is a solid, feature-packed browser that all IE users should flock to immediately. While it's not enough to make me switch from Firefox yet--I still love certain Firefox features such as inline search--it's no longer an object of ridicule either. IE 7.0 Beta 3 includes huge functional and security advantages of IE 6 and is an absolute no brainer for anyone choosing to stick with IE. If you are an IE user, head over to the Microsoft Web site and pick up IE 7.0 Beta 3 today. Unless you have specific Web sites you visit regularly that are still not working properly with IE 7.0--an increasingly rare problem--even the Beta 3 version is ready for prime time.

--Paul Thurrott
June 25-29, 2006
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Old 29th June 2006, 08:55 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

They don't mention it in "new features", because IDNs are already there.
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:00 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
"If it takes longer than 18 months to ship the next version of Internet Explorer, then we're not doing our jobs right," said Gary Schare, Microsoft's General Manager of Internet Explorer.
I think they might move some features to IE8, which is not more than 18 mths after IE7. The question is now, what will they move over to IE8?
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:03 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
I think they might move some features to IE8, which is not more than 18 mths after IE7. The question is now, what will they move over to IE8?
I think we need to relax, as there is no reason to panic. IDNs are there.
This is taken from IE7 Beta 3 release notes:

VeriSign's i-Nav™ Plug-in--Users of the VeriSign i-Nav IDN Resolver Plug-in may notice that they are unable to navigate to Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in Internet Explorer 7 Beta. This is caused by Internet Explorer 7's enhanced support for IDNs. To navigate to IDNs in Internet Explorer 7 Beta, please open IE and click from the file menu Tools > Manage Add Ons > Enable or Disable Add Ons. Select the i-Nav browser extensions and "Disable" them.


http://msdn.microsoft.com/ie/releasenotes/default.aspx
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:14 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer
I think we need to relax, as there is no reason to panic. IDNs are there.
This is taken from IE7 Beta 3 release notes:

VeriSign's i-Nav™ Plug-in--Users of the VeriSign i-Nav IDN Resolver Plug-in may notice that they are unable to navigate to Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in Internet Explorer 7 Beta. This is caused by Internet Explorer 7's enhanced support for IDNs. To navigate to IDNs in Internet Explorer 7 Beta, please open IE and click from the file menu Tools > Manage Add Ons > Enable or Disable Add Ons. Select the i-Nav browser extensions and "Disable" them.


http://msdn.microsoft.com/ie/releasenotes/default.aspx

Ok, this is proof that IDNs are still supported, but they didn't really solve the Verisign Plugin problem. Who is going to know or bother to navigate to file menu Tools > Manage Add Ons > Enable or Disable Add Ons! :o

And now about the CNNIC plugin, which they claim to have 50 million downloads! Any Microsoft IE guy in this forum?
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:17 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer
I think we need to relax, as there is no reason to panic. IDNs are there.
I don't understand why people are so nervous, so easy to panic. Investing in anything, you need to wait till the last moment, either to kill yourself or to celebrate, doing it too early is not healthy.
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:18 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
Ok, this is proof that IDNs are still supported, but they didn't really solve the Verisign Plugin problem. Who is going to know or bother to navigate to file menu Tools > Manage Add Ons > Enable or Disable Add Ons! :o

And now about the CNNIC plugin, which they claim to have 50 million downloads! Any Microsoft IE guy in this forum?

Isn't IDN feature "on" by default?
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:34 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer
Isn't IDN feature "on" by default?

I was told that if a user is using an IDN plugin, it will clash with IE7's IDN parser, so anyone using i-Nav will not be able to use IDNs unless they disable those plugins using the "Tools > Manage Add Ons > Disable Add Ons" - if there's no smart prompting from the interface, i think less than 1% of people affected will do that. Pending actual confirmation, I would assume that the same applies to CNNIC's 50 million plugins....

Last edited by touchring; 29th June 2006 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:40 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
I was told that if a user is using an IDN plugin, it will clash with IE7's IDN parser, so anyone using i-Nav will not be able to use IDNs unless they disable those plugins using the "Tools > Manage Add Ons > Disable Add Ons". I assume that the same applies to CNNIC's 50 million plugins, need more info on this area.

Since IE7 supports IDNs by default, nobody would need any plug-ins. There would be no need to download them and no need to distribute them. I am sure CNNIC will issue some kind of a press release endorsing the final version of IE7 and stating no further need for plug-ins as well as intructions on how to uninstall them.
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:47 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

So, to repeat gamma. What's the bad news here? One step closer to the full release. And looks like dname is going into effect immediately next month.

Um... We are in the money.

By the way IE7 is for windows xp, it's IE7+ that's for vista and is seperate browser to be released with vista. The regular IE7 is not waiting for vista.

It's the + that's throwing everyone off.

Quote:
"If it takes longer than 18 months to ship the next version of Internet Explorer, then we're not doing our jobs right," said Gary Schare, Microsoft's General Manager of Internet Explorer.
And in this quote they are talking about IE8.
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:47 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer
Since IE7 supports IDNs by default, nobody would need any plug-ins. There would be no need to download them and no need to distribute them. I am sure CNNIC will issue some kind of a press release endorsing the final version of IE7 and stating no further need for plug-ins as well as intructions on how to uninstall them.

The CNNIC plugins can be uninstalled using the add/remove program menu, so uninstalling is not a problem.

But the problem comes in how the plugins are distributed - in some ways, CNNIC plugins are distributed like spyware - twice, i accidentally installed them - dun even know how it happened - i only knew they were installed when my Zonealarm caught them trying to send info to the Internet. Also, Chinese words will appear on the IE address bar.
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Old 29th June 2006, 09:50 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcle
So, to repeat gamma. What's the bad news here? One step closer to the full release. And looks like dname is going into effect immediately next month.

Um... We are in the money.

By the way IE7 is for windows xp, it's IE7+ that's for vista and is seperate browser to be released with vista. The regular IE7 is not waiting for vista.

It's the + that's throwing everyone off.



And in this quote they are talking about IE8.

I agree. Looks like we are a little ahead of schedule for a change.
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Old 29th June 2006, 10:14 PM
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Re: GOOD BAD NEWS FOR IDNs

I think the CNNIC thing is swings and roundabouts. I not bothered if the other territories are coming on stream. Giant has already been doing alright with CNNIC, so I guess he will manage for a month or two whilst the hiccups from any clashes are resolved. Let face it, it will work if you only have CNNIC, it will work if you only have IE 7.0. If you have both, then probably nothing will work until you get one of them unistalled, which will be a matter of high priority.

Anyway Beta 3 works for me straight out the box. Resolving IDN just like all those other browser out there.
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Old 30th June 2006, 07:32 PM
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Re: Good Bad News For IDNs

The biggest question isn't Beta 3 or Dname or Icann.

It's when IE7 does come out will it be an automatic update?

So far their beta's have been roughly a month and a half apart from each other. Which might put (by my speculation) the final version of IE7 around August beginning of September. Like I said previously don't confuse "IE7" with "IE7+" for vista two totally different browser schedules.
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Old 30th June 2006, 07:39 PM
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Re: Good Bad News For IDNs

A worry that i have is , when IE7 is out, alot of counties have illegal microsoft products (not licensed) and these millions of "illegal users" wont be able to get the ie7 update etc...

What do you guys think?

(lately i saw/heard these "advertising warnings" something like ...you are a victim to piracy...buy the whatever for xxx)
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