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Microsoft Releases IE 7 Beta 3

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The next beta release of Internet Explorer 7 adds a few new updates and tweaks based on the feedback collected from users of the new browser.

User interface and RSS feedreading changes suggested by testers have been implemented in the newest edition of IE 7.

Lead program manager Max Stevens wrote at the IE Blog that his group had lightened the icons for search, refresh, and stop, and put the Favorites star back in IE 7. They also added tab reordering via dragging, a feature long present in the Firefox and Opera browsers.

FTP has been updated in IE 7 to work with servers that require authentication. Few newbies would know the command line string ftp://username:password@ftp.site/ that Stevens noted was the workaround in Beta 2.

Removing the toolbar icon for access to email proved to be a mistake. Users of Beta 3 will have the option to manually add that icon to the command bar, a fix that should cut down on the numerous calls for its return by Beta 2 users.

The auto-image scaling button in IE 6 has been replaced in IE 7. A simple zoom cursor appears over a scaled image, requiring a click to zoom it and another click to zoom back out. The IE 6 button “felt a little odd to use, and was somewhat unpredictable,” Stevens wrote in documenting this change.

Feedback to Team RSS working on IE 7 prompted a couple of changes with feedreading functionality. Several testers requested the ability to check and update all feeds at once. That can now be performed through a Refresh All command from the context menu of any feed or folder in the Feed List Pane, the Team noted on their blog.

Feeds with unread items will display a control called “Mark feed as read.” To preserve the unread items as unread in the feed, just uncheck that control. Users can further control that behavior by setting the control to be always unchecked under Feed Settings as demonstrated in the blog entry.

The Team also included some keyboard shortcuts for feedreading. These should help navigate through unread feeds more quickly for users who prefer the keyboard to the mouse for some of their navigation.


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

Microsoft Releases IE 7 Beta 3
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