Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 Released
Microsoft has released IE7 beta 1 to MSDN subscribers and a number of beta testers (of which I'm neither). There's been some outlash that Microsoft should have released it to a larger group but I'm doubtful that would have made any difference in the success of this release.
It is clearly not aimed at us web developers looking for CSS support rivalling that of Firefox or Safari. Whether it will get added into beta 2 or the final version remains to be seen.
Probably the largest difference from before is alpha PNG support. This feature alone will ease some headaches. Otherwise, this browser seems mostly cosmetic with the addition of RSS integration, tabbed browsing, and a simplified UI that looks similar to Firefox.
For those of you looking to try it out, it'll undoubtedly hit the torrent sites but my money is on waiting until beta 2.
If you're really interested in checking it out anyways, there's a quick way to get it running and can actually get around the Windows Genuine Advantage install. First step is to run the installer which will unpack all the files into a temporary directory, likely residing in the root of your C: drive.
Before clicking on next (which will run the WGA), hop into that temp folder and copy the contents into a new folder. Then create an empty file in the folder called IEXPLORE.exe.local. Then run iexplore.exe to launch IE7.
While I haven't tested it, it may be possible to run IE7 on Windows 2000 using this approach (if anybody wants to confirm this). Right off the bat, some functionality like the RSS integration doesn't work but at the very least you'll be able to test the rendering engine and experience tabbed browsing.