Microsoft bears Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista tidings

Internet Explorer 7 is no longer a glimmer in Microsoft’s eye: a new, tidier, beta version (pictured above) is ready for general inspection.  It’

Internet Explorer 7 is no longer a glimmer in Microsoft’s eye: a new, tidier, beta version (pictured above) is ready for general inspection.  It’s geared up to ‘enthusiastic’ early adopters and should be a bit easier to use than the last IT pro orientated version.

The new version, beta 2, features a bundle of improvements including a tabbed interface, RSS platform, customisable search box, page zoom feature and a favourite centre to group your tabs, history and RSS feeds together. It also comes with higher browser security – Active X controls are disabled on default and there’s a phishing filter.

Generally, it’s a more streamlined effort. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect though – it’s still beta and, as such, Microsoft is beckoning feedback – click here to have a play and here to check out add-ons.

Meanwhile, at the National Association of Broadcasters’ convention over in Las Vegas, Microsoft was spotted teasing delegates with Windows Vista’s multimedia prowess.

Microsoft described Vista as the ‘premier platform for audio and video’, reeling in the media types with lots of multimedia chat.

Vista’s Media Center is undergoing improvements galore. Features include ‘glitch resilience’ for seamless playback of audio and video and ‘device roles’ to group your media stuff into three categories – general, music and movies and communication – and then route each app to a particular device.

There’s also ‘high fidelity’ for top-notch sound and the ability to set the volume of each application separately, rather than rely on a single inflexible setting for all.

The final version of Internet Explorer 7 is on the cards for late 2006 and Vista is gearing up for a public release in early 2007.