Astute and dedicated bloggers were all over this yesterday, but it bears repeating – IE 7 beta is now available for public consumption. But wait! Before you look at IE7 and audibly declare “Cool! Tabbed browsing!!!”, save yourself from looking like a technological has been: most of its cool new features have been available for years in other browsers like Firefox and Safari. If you want to truly be on the bleeding edge, get a browser that keeps you there. If you want to truly be on the bleeding edge, get a browser that keeps you there.
New York Times just posted an excellent review/editorial of IE 7 (beta):
ABOUT 85 percent of the Internet population uses the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser to surf the Web, even though it’s relatively ancient, crusty with neglect and about as secure as a screen door. [...] Those consumers aren’t actually choosing Internet Explorer; [...] [t]hey just use what came on their Windows computers. Thanks to this built-in following, Microsoft hasn’t felt much need to keep Internet Explorer current. Version 6 has been creaking along for five years — an eternity in Internet time.
And, as NYT writer David Pogue goes on to say, you can download the brand new version of IE, right now if you want.