With the release of Windows Vista Beta 2, I want to announce that we will be naming the version of IE7 in Windows Vista “Internet Explorer 7+”. While all versions of IE7 are built from the same code base, there are some important differences in IE7+, most significantly the addition of Windows Vista-only features like Protected Mode, Parental Controls, and improved Network Diagnostics. These features take advantage of big changes in Windows Vista and weren’t practical to bring downlevel. The IE7+ naming gives us an easy way to refer to this version. (“The version of IE7 in Vista” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily…)
These differences shouldn’t affect most web developers, but if you need to know specifically, you can refer to the OS field of the User-Agent string. As Eric noted previously, the User-Agent strings will have the info you need:
Beta 2 is available now for developers and IT professionals who subscribe to MSDN or TechNet, as well as members of the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and the TechBeta program. In the coming weeks, we’ll start the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) for developers and IT professionals who aren’t part of one of those programs so they can get the code and begin their own testing. We’ll open up the CPP to a broader group of technology enthusiasts who’ll get a build of the OS to begin testing the various consumer scenarios Windows Vista enables.
The IE logo will also reflect this new naming.
There are no feature differences between IE7 and IE7+ beta 2 other than the ones I mentioned above; we have, however, fixed a bunch of bugs between the two releases. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on this naming as well as the product. We’ll have more information on how to sign up for Windows Vista beta 2 with IE7+ shortly, but for now, you can download the IE7 beta here.