Hello from LA!


Internet Explorer Team Blog

Hello from LA!

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I’m here at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference 2005 in Los Angeles, and I just finished giving my presentation entitled "What’s New in IE7?" to a pretty full house (for a late afternoon session). I’m still pretty pumped up from my talk, but I wanted to share the features we haven’t previously mentioned (and repeat a few we have) for everyone who didn’t make it to the PDC. Expect to see more detail on these features in the near future here on the IEBlog, and of course these features will show up in beta 2.

We’ve continued to develop our new User Experience - in addition to the tabbed browsing, integrated search, shrink-to-fit Web page printing, and redesigned user interface we announced and delivered in beta 1, in my talk today I demoed two new user interface features – first, a Quick Tabs feature, which enables users to view and manage tabs with a live thumbnail view of all tabs in a single window. Secondly, we’ve implemented a Page Zoom feature, which allows users to zoom the text and graphics of web pages with high visual quality, not only to make the web experience more accessible but also to better support high-resolution screens. Finally, in conjunction with A9.com, we’ve also announced OpenSearch 1.1 in order to allow users to easily populate their search engine of choice. We’re working together with A9.com to provide backward compatible extensions to OpenSearch 1.0 to allow the OpenSearch to define search engines that output HTML as well as RSS. These extensions are being provided under the same Creative Commons license we used for the RSS list extensions.

As promised, we are delivering a web subscriptions platform to provide the tools developers need to build innovative RSS-enabled applications, including the Common Feed List (a central repository for all Web Feed Subscriptions), and the Common Data Store (which provides a single store and download mechanism for subscription content). 

We’ve also continued to enhance our security: with a simplified architecture to defend against malware, system-level protection on Windows Vista, and new ways to protect against personal data theft from fraudulent websites, we’ve demonstrated our continued commitment to improving security. Building on the security features released at beta 1, upcoming new features will include ActiveX Opt-in: To reduce the attack surface and give users more control over the security of their PC, most ActiveX controls (even those already installed on the machine) will be disabled by default for users browsing the Internet. Users will have the option to enable controls as needed using the same Information Bar they have used to install new controls since Windows XP SP2, and we are proactively working with the largest ActiveX control vendors to make sure the experience is great. We’ve created a Protected Mode for IE when running on Windows Vista, which reduces the severity of threats to IE and add-ons running in the IE process by eliminating the silent install of malicious code through software vulnerabilities. We do this by automatically running IE in isolation from any other application or process in the operating system and preventing the IE process from writing to any location beyond Temporary Internet Files without explicit user consent. We’ve improved our cross domain barriers to help limit the potential for a malicious Web site to manipulate flaws in other Web sites and cause the user to download undesired content or software. We’ve provided a “One Click Cleanup” feature to clear out the history, cache, etc. (which can be disabled by Group Policy). Finally, we’ve integrated with the Windows Vista Parental Controls to help keep kids safe online by allowing parents to control browsing behavior.

We’ve also continued to add web developer platform features and fixes: we’ve continued to fix CSS and other web standards bugs, but we’ve also rebuilt the <select> element as a windowless control, so it can be visually layered under other elements. IE 7 implements a native XMLHTTPRequest object for Javascript applications, instead of requiring an ActiveXObject to be created. This also means XMLHTTPRequest will function on machines that have ActiveX disabled. We’ve providing support for International Domain Names we’ve also done some thoughtful work to prevent spoofing of URLs by using similar characters from other languages.  

Finally, in recognition of the need for great web developer tools, we are just about to beta a Web Developer Toolbar that provides web developers with rich object model and visual tools which will help them design standards-based HTML and CSS web pages. This feature will be delivered as an add-on for IE6+.

Whew! Sorry for the long run-on post, but I wanted to share the same information we’re presenting at the PDC with everyone.

 - Chris Wilson

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