Why hasn’t Microsoft Internet Explorer ever been upgraded from IE 6.0 to IE 7.0? After being disavowed several times as unneeded, because Windows XP is a “finished product” at the end of its development path (can you hear the choked laughter?) Microsoft now says it has listened to customers and is going to release a beta version of IE 7.0 some time this year. Here’s a link to the blog where this is presented: IE 7.0 blog. What to expect? A product that will still not be standards compliant (that is, it still won’t pay any attention to web standards for accessibility, CSS standards, or anything else that would be expensive to “fix” in IE 6.0. My take on it is that it will tighten up the security factor some, but not enough. Call me cynical, but my bet is that you’ll wind up needing to BUY a proprietary module from MS to make your computer safe.
MS has also announced that a beta version of the new Longhorn operating system will be released this summer. I like stable operating systems, so when their Service Release 2 for Longhorn comes out (some time in 2008?), I’ll rush down and buy one.
While I greatly admire MicroSoft’s world-wide stranglehold on business computers over the world, they have never proven they can make a safe, stable operating system (or program for that matter) and get it right the first time. Security concerns ALWAYS take a seat at the back of the product release bus in Redmond. Windows XP has been touted as the most stable operating system ever, but it still crashes my computer at least once a week (memory leaks, most likely). If my car did the same thing I’d scrap it and get something more reliable.