Microsoft launches IE7 for Vista

New version contains features not in the XP release

Steve Malone
30 May 2006

Microsoft has announced a new version of Internet Explorer 7 especially developed for the forthcoming Vista operating system. The new version which has been dubbed Internet Explorer 7+ adds features that are not available in the version currently planned for existing versions of Windows.

The announcement was made by IE team member Tony Schreiner in the Microsoft Internet Explorer blog. According to Schreiner, IE7+ takes advantage of Windows Vista-only features like Protected Mode, Parental Controls, and improved Network Diagnostics and takes advantage of big changes in Windows Vista that were 'not practical' to bring to earlier versions of Windows.

There are now other feature differences between the Vista and XP versions apart from those listed, but the two versions have been developed from the same code base. Microsoft says that there have been a few bug fixes included in the latest release that will subsequently appear in the IE7 for XP, which is due to appear shortly.

Apparently the IE7+ designation was chosen because 'IE7 in Vista doesn't roll off the tongue as easily'.

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 programme.

Microsoft says that in the coming weeks, it will start the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) for developers and IT professionals who are not part of one of those programs so they can get the code and begin their own testing. More information about how to get IE7 for Vista will appear soon.

For developers who want to be able to detect the two versions, the user agent string for IE for XP contains the line 'compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1' while IE7+ uses the string 'compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0'.

More information about IE7 can be found at the Microsoft website.

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