The New and Improved Internet Explorer 7.0: Visible Enhancements for Better User Experience - Part 1

October 13, 2007
The world of Information Technology is constantly changing with new versions of most applications popping up before we've learned to navigate the ones we have. While some boast of better features and greater functionality, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) newest browser application, IE 7.0, introduces significant changes that transform the user experience. With many new features already integrated into competing browsers, this upgrade is considered, by some, to be a late arrival. Many of the changes are subtle, whereas others significantly alter how an individual browses the Internet. The major modifications are highly visible and one will become familiar with them immediately. Other improvements, such as the security enhancements, may not be as visible but are indeed noteworthy. This is part one of a two-part series, outlining the more significant features, enabling you to make the most of this notable upgrade.

Internet Explorer 7.0 Installation

The installation is fairly painless, but may take a few minutes on older systems. It can be downloaded directly from Microsoft or installed through the standard Windows update.

After installation the user is presented with a "Welcome" screen. On this page, one can select a default search engine, turn on the Anti-Phishing feature and turn on Clear Text. (The Anti-Phishing feature will be discussed further in the next installment of this article.) It does pay to take a look at this page, as some of the settings are important configurations to IE 7.0. You will also find a link to a page where interesting plug-ins specific to IE 7.0 can be downloaded.

The User Interface

The first thing one will notice after installation is the user interface. It's somewhat redefined and like all new interfaces, it will take some time to get used to. However, once familiar, the streamlined appearance will make it easier to use than the previous version.

Tabbed Browsing

This is an area where Microsoft is playing catch-up to just about every other browser on the market. Tabbed browsing allows one to open multiple sites at the same time and access them by tabs at the top of the page. One really clever feature in IE 7.0 is that any group of tabs can be added as favorites. Say you want to check various news sites in the morning, you could open all of them in different tabs and add all of the sites to your favorites; all at once, not individually. Then, every morning, go into your favorites and click on the arrow next to the folder. It will open all of the web sites in the folder. This works for any folder in your favorites.

Another excellent feature of tabbed browsing is that one can open multiple pages and display all of them at the same time. This is useful when titles of pages are the same in every tab and you need to view them to determine which tab to switch to.

Whether a novice user or an advanced power user, you will find the IE 7.0 browser experience has been improved. Look for part two, coming in February's InfoLink, where we'll highlight even more enhancements of the latest version of Microsoft's internet browser application, IE 7.0.

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