Microsoft has finally shipped the second BETA release of it's latest Internet Explorer browser. The latest release is the fastest and most reliable 7.0 release thus far (to be expected as it grows closer to a final release) and I find myself not dreading the times I have to use it now. The new BETA release is much quicker than any of it's predecessors (not including the 6.0 family) so processes such as adding a new tab or printing doesn't seem to take as long…nearly as long. IE7 has almost gotten as quick as 6.0.
Of course, even with the new "tabbed browsing" and integrated feed reader there's just no reason for me to go back to Internet Explorer, plain and simple. Thousands of developers across the world have built tools specifically for Firefox that has made my browsing experience irreplaceable (although, it can be quite distracting sometimes.)
On that note, Microsoft has even decided to take their IE "Add-Ons" (think Firefox extensions) to the next level by updating the official site for these 3rd party add-ons: ieaddons.com. Alot of those "Add-ons" still aren't free, though…unlike Mozilla's official extensions site.
If only the team behind IE was as dedicated as the team behind Microsoft's own Live service or, for that matter, as dedicated as any of Google's development teams. Case in point, Google had a release of their Toolbar for Internet Explorer poised and ready for IE 7.0 about two days after Microsoft officially began shipping the new BETA. Needless to say, I was impressed.