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yes, it made me laugh, too, on the first view.
It seems to me that IE didn't make any progress from 6.0 to this beta. Transparent pngs don't work, although it was promised by MS. CSS? All the bugs are still there. They have to make a huge progress towards beta 2...
IE7 Beta 1 is not feature complete. If you download the Microsoft technical overview document, there's a lot of information why that did that and what can be expected in beta 2. Apparently they released beta 1 only to subscribers to gather vital UI/compatbillity info and beta 2 (which will be released to public) will address these. For example, that document talks about PNG which will be fixed till beta 2, also a notewrothy is this line (page 14 under Platform Enhancements):
"Web developers have expressed some frustration with certain peculiarities in the behavior of Internet Explorer 6, especially in the areas of standards support. [...] In Internet Explorer 7 beta 1, the browser architecture has been reengineered to address compatibility and will offer additional support for popular standards."
It continues on page 15 with things like CSS and there's even some stuff mentioning their laugable <div> float support:
"Internet Explorer 7 is prioritizing compliance to CSS standards by first implementing the features that developers have said are most important to them. [...] The work Microsoft has done includes fixing some positioning and layout issues related to the way Internet Explorer 6 handles <div> tags.
The final release of Internet Explorer 7 will focus on improving the developer experience by reducing the time needed for developing and testing on different browsers."
Basically, beta 1 is nothing special for web developers. That's probably why it was released only to MSDN subscribers and not to public. As of yet, I am pretty happy with IE7 though I do miss some things and hopefully they'll add those in the next beta.
Sorry, forgot the link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=718E9B3A-6...
"The final release of Internet Explorer 7 will focus on improving the developer experience by reducing the time needed for developing and testing on different browsers."
It seem strange to phrase it this way. I would thinnk that being standards complient would be priorty #1 for the user expirence as well...
Rather than forcing devs to use some obscure hack / comprimise design, or build mutiple pages (which most sites wont bother with) - unifying how web browsers render makes life better for everone.
I guess we will see what happens, but personally I think the priorties are out of wack.