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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

IE 7 2.0 - The End is Nigh

Here it comes. Not the preview or the update to the preview, but the real Beta 2 of IE7 for Windows. Last night Microsoft made it available. Should you even mention it to clients?

Wanting as many people as possible to try it now, Micorsoft are offering free phone support to encourage people who usually shy away from beta software to try IE7 Beta 2. I'm tempted, but for selfish reasons. They still plan a Beta 3 version before the final version, and I'm not shy, but I'm not usually much use to their owners either with beta versions.

But I do want to see what it does to a million websites with hacks to make it work in IE, and I don't want to have to code any more hacks. From what I've seen already this could be the browser that ends those browser wars. Then we'll be down to personal preference alone in what browsers use. Even though it's been years coming, I never thought we'd get this far this quick with browsers.

Today I still see brand new sites that have appalling errors across browsers, as if we lived in a one- or two-browser world. It will be great if all those sites 'break' in IE 7 and have to be re-coded to fit in with the standards that Mozilla, Safari, Opera, and the others have tried to follow.

I suspect though that it will be the sites hacked for Microsoft's previous non-standard approach that will need the amending. And they'll need it the day the client downloads IE7 later this year.

I'm still working on the SEO/SEM implications though - and wondering - do I tell my clients? Maybe I'll just go paint a picture, a multi-tabbed picture.

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