Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 Details Begin to Leak

The first beta of IE 7.0 isn't expected for a few more months. But information on Microsoft's security, standards and interface plans is trickling out now.

Since it first revealed a month ago that it was pulling a U-turn by releasing a new version of Internet Explorer independent of Longhorn, Microsoft has been unwilling to share many particulars about its forthcoming browser.

Will Internet Explorer 7.0 have tabs? Will it comply with the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) 2.0 standard? Exactly how will it make browsing more secure? Will it ship in 2005?

Microsofts answers? No comment.

Microsoft has shared publicly that IE 7.0 will be focused primarily on improving security.

Company officials said recently that Microsoft plans to make IE 7.0 available to Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Professional x64 users. A first beta of IE 7.0 is due out this summer.

But Microsoft is sharing quite a few more specifics about IE 7.0 privately with key partners, claim sources who requested anonymity.

Sources say that IE 7.0–which is code-named "Rincon," they hear–will be a tabbed browser.

IE 7.0 will feature IDN (international domain name) support; transparent PNG (Portable Network Graphics) support, which will allow for the display of overlaid images in the browser; and new functionality that will simplify printing from inside IE 7.0, partner sources said. The new browser also likely will include a built-in news aggregator.

(Coincidentally, or perhaps not, MSN just began testing a new Microsoft-developed RSS aggregator.)

Among the myriad security enhancements Microsoft is expecting to include in IE 7.0, according to partner sources:

  • Reduced-privilege mode becomes the default;
  • No cross-domain scripting and/or scripting access;
  • Improved SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) user interface;
  • Possible integration between IE 7.0 and Microsofts Windows anti-spyware service, which currently is in beta.

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