Microsoft Planning Life After IE7

You won’t have to wait another five years to see a new browser from

That’s the message that Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 developers told
participants in an online chat today on the eve of Microsoft’s first major
browser release in over five years.

“We definitely plan to release on a regular basis,” Dave Massy, senior
program manager on the IE team, said.

“Exactly when the next release will be
is difficult to predict and we still have plenty of planning and work to do.

“You can be assured that it will not be five years until the next release of IE, though we are planning the next two versions now.”

Participants of the online chat repeatedly assailed the Microsoft staffers
about precisely when IE 7 would be available, bugs they still see in the new browser and about features they’d like to see.

On the question of when IE 7 will ship, the answer time and again was, this

“There are a lot of questions surrounding the final release date and the
rumors about when we’re going to release,” Tony Chor, group program manager
for IE, said.

“As we’ve stated on the blog, we plan to ship before the end
of the month. It will go up on the Download Center first (and will always be
available there).

“A few weeks after release, we’ll start sending IE7 out
over AU [Automatic Updates] as well. If you want to block the AU deployment
for your company, we strongly recommend having the blocker tool in place by
November 1.”

The blocker tool that will allow administrators to block IE 7 from
automatically deploying onto their users’ machines is available at

The timing of the IE 7 release prompted one participant to ask
if Microsoft would be ruining Thanksgiving by making IE7 a critical update
just before the holiday.

“Mom will be asking me how this ‘new Internet thing’ works and won’t give me
any turkey until I “fix it for her,'” the participant wrote.

“Well I look at it like this, you’re going to have a wonderful thanksgiving
because she’ll be thanking you for how much better, safer and easier her
browser is,” Microsoft Program Manager Uche Enuha responded.

Chat participants were also curious about whether Microsoft was going to be
adding any additional functionally to IE7 over what is in the currently
available IE 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1).

“The main changes between RC1 and the final release will be many many bug
changes that help improve the overall reliability of the browser,” Max
Stevens, lead program manager for IE said.

“There won’t be any major new
features — these are being considered for our next release after IE7.”

Microsoft did not provide any specific or quantifiable number of bugs that
that have been resolved since RC1, though they claim to have resolved the most
critical issues.

Chat participants were more than willing to share their share of bugs that
they don’t think have yet been fixed, as well as features they think
should have been added to the browser.

One participant noted that they would like to see download management and
much-improved JavaScript debugging.

Another asked if there will ever be a feature in IE that will allow the
user to set their temporary files to automatically delete after so many days
like the history does.

The standard Microsoft response to the suggestions was “Thanks” and “we’ll
look into it for future releases.”

On the deficiency side, Microsoft was repeatedly berated about CSS
being the weak link for IE, a charge that Microsoft didn’t
entirely disagree with.

“We’ve worked to improve CSS support in IE7,” Massy explained. “We know
there is more work to be done in the next release. You feedback helps us
prioritize that work so that we deliver on the most useful functionality

In general though, most participants lavished praise upon Microsoft for IE

“As a web developer, I would just like to say a big THANK YOU for fixing the
majority of issues that existed in IE6, as well as added support and fixes
for various CSS properties and of course PNG transparency,” one chat
participant wrote.

“Working with IE7 is now a real pleasure.”

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis

News Around the Web