IE7 Beta 2 Ships

Microsoft just released Beta v.2 of IE7 and announced it on the IE blog. They’ve also announced toll free phone support and other feedback and support products for users of Beta 2. The English version only was released tonight. German, Finnish, Arabic and Japanese version will be released over the next three weeks.

We acted on a lot of the feedback and bug reports from the previous public releases. In particular, I feel good about changes we made based on reports from web developers around some CSS behaviors, application compatibility feedback, reliability data (yes, we do analyze the information that comes when you click “Send Error Report”), and user experience feedback. People on the team will post additional details about changes over the next few days.

I was among a number of journalists and bloggers present at a Microsoft announcement dinner this evening. I’ll say this for Microsoft – they are taking the browser war seriously and without arrogance.

The key features are tabbed browsing (including “Quick Tabs”, a way to see multiple web pages on a single tab), a continuation of the minimalist approach on the UI and toolbars, and enhancements to the RSS reader built into the browser. The team says they’ve made significant improvements in CSS rendering as well, a problem I noticed in the previous beta version.