Blog DOB: 01 Jun, 2012
The good news is when you uninstall IE7 you revert back to IE6 with it's familiar navigation.....
There is an article on the Microsoft website by Mark Walker entitled "Windows Internet Explorer 7 Toolbar: It's your option". It was penned in June and claims IE7 "has a monitor full of choices....to customise the browser.....to suit your personal tastes". The article includes screen shots where it looks as if a user can toggle back to the classic view, the one we're familiar with in using Microsoft products; with the file menu on top etc. But things seem to have moved on since June.
Now the final version of IE7 is due to be released this quarter, distributed as a high-priority update via Automatic updates and the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites, but on the copy I downloaded today some of the reported options have been clipped back. It wasn't, for example, possible to revert back to the clean, classic view. When I was first presented with the screen I was immediately frustrated with some of the changes, but in particular in not being able to customise the layout. In fact, I must admit, having used Internet Explorer for over ten years, today is the first day I downloaded alternative browsers. I was so annoyed I figured, "well, if I must learn to use it again, I may as well look at alternatives". Browsers of course are free, so there is no reason why you can't download and run alternatives. I picked Netscape and Firefox.
Netscape for some reason drew an association with IE and ended up presenting me back with exactly the same IE7 screen, only it said Netscape. "losers" was all I could mumble as I immediately uninstalled it. Firefox, on the other hand, which you can download from here, has a superior user interface to IE7. In fact, in a very short time, I almost had it configured back to looking like classic IE, only better.
What's the problem with IE7? Well for me the main thing is you can't customise the appearance. The address bar stays on top, presumably the developers having read Joel Spolsky's book "User Interface Design for Programmers" or his blog liked the idea of being able to bounce your mouse off the top of the screen and end up in the address bar. However, they seem to have missed all points on user familiarity and navigation.
Two icons for "favorites" now, irritatingly, appear in the far left, where the more frequently used home button would be better placed. All the other icons are right aligned until you turn off the tab browsing feature in internet options, which you have to do to get them back on the left. And of course, they've added in search - No Thanks - I have a clean google homepage. Some added security features are bundled in but these should be handled by your virus protection software or you end up getting conflict errors instead.
I genuinely believed the browser wars had ended long ago. Microsoft were the clear winner with a superior product. However, if IE7 is released with the rigid user interface it has today I would bet the wars start over. There seems to be some strategic effort with IE7 to more seriously engage the search market and I think the browser feels diluted as a consequence, in any case, I it would seem to be surpassed by the Firefox browser.
The good news about IE7 is you can uninstall it and revert back to IE6 with it's familiar navigation, or you can download the Firefox browser for free.