Microsoft, Mozilla Ready New Browsers

    October 7, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Internet Explorer 7 has been primed for release through Microsoft’s Automatic Updates, while the Mozilla Foundation unveiled Firefox 2 Release Candidate 2 for their users.

For Microsoft, IE 7 represents its foray into advanced browser features like tabbed browsing and RSS feed support. For Mozilla, Firefox 2 RC 2 brings its testers a sneak peek into features that make dreaded interruptions like a system crash a mere bump on the way back to using the browser.

Back at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Scott Graff blogged the reminder that IE 7 will be coming this month, delivered through the Automatic Update process. Before that happens, the IE team wants to know what could be in the way of a deployment for end users:

As we make key improvements in areas such as layout and security, some changes need to be made by site owners to work smoothly with IE7. We have produced detailed documentation, tools and other resources to assist site, extension and application owners in their testing and development efforts to ensure they are compatible with IE7.

These efforts have been ongoing since last year and have been extremely successful but we can’t ensure 100% compatibility without your help. We need you to test and ensure your sites, extensions, and applications are ready for IE7.

Those with a need to ensure such compatibility will be available should check out Graff’s post for more information.

At Mozilla HQ, the announcement rang forth that Firefox 2 RC 2 could be downloaded for testing. The developers have plugged in a variety of updates and enhancements to the platform that has become a prominent alternative to IE for millions of users:

There is a lot in Firefox 2 RC 2 that you can play around with and give us feedback on:

Visual Refresh: Firefox 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them. We will continue to improve the look and feel throughout the release candidate process.

Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled.

Enhanced search capabilities: Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.

Mozilla has many more changes listed for the new version in the release notes. They did mention that some extensions may not work in Firefox 2 RC 2 until new versions have been created. Users who keep RC 2 on their systems will have it automatically updated to the full version when it has been completed.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.