Available Doesn’t Equal Usable

    February 1, 2006

Media and bloggers everywhere reported Microsoft’s release yesterday of the Internet Explorer 7 beta with its tabbed browsing, built-in support for RSS (including enclosures), and improved security.

I’d love to see how it all looks, but I can’t get it installed. My PC meets (and generally exceeds) all the requirements, but midway through the installation I get an error, something to do with a dynamic library link called msfeeds.dll.

I bopped on over to the Microsoft IE community and posted my problem. I got a response telling me to disable my anti-spyware application. I did. No luck. I rebooted under Safe Mode. Nothing. By the time I got back to the message board, several others had posted that they were having the same problem. One noted that he had been able to install the beta at work but not at home. The answer from Microsoft? I’m still waiting.

Of course, this is a beta, designed to surface problems just like this, which makes me part of the process instead of a dissatisfied customer. But clearly IE7 isn’t anywhere near ready for prime time if so many of us are sharing the same inability to install the app in the first place.

Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.