Sunday, September 11, 2005

Internet Explorer Beta Sparks Frustration

When Microsoft announced Internet Explorer 7 beta no so long ago, developers were quick to express frustration that this was to be a closed beta, open only to paying subscribers.

Though Microsoft never indicated which of its IE7 betas would be made public, many had assumed from the "open and honest" direction the company appeared to be going in as it approached this release that it would be.

As the developers who were entitled to the beta pored over it, some of the reasoning behind this decision became clear. For beta 1, most of the changes seem to be in the category of user interface features, like tabbed browsing and support for RSS. Developers most likely to be affected by such changes would be those specifically using Microsoft technologies. Developers can reasonably be expected to pay for the support that a subscription can provide.

Nevertheless, Microsoft's release notes cited two of the most bothersome CSS bugs in IE6 as being fixed, along with support for PNG alpha channel transparency and other minor changes for which Web developers in general would certainly be able to provide valuable feedback.

These developers will likely have to wait until Beta 2 to test out these updates... and that's assuming Microsoft fulfils public expectations of a public beta this time around. So far, it has said that Beta 2 would be released "much more broadly". We will have to wait and see, now won't we?

Why wait and see, be like others in the know and download Mozilla Firefox and stop waiting for Microsoft go get with the times.

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