The beta allows a broad group of developers and users to test the application before its final release later this year. The software is available for download from Microsoft's website here.
Internet Explorer 7 boasts enhanced security and privacy protection as its main features. Users will be notified if they visit a known phishing website, for instance, and will be able more easily to clear the browser's history logs and cookies.
The application has copied the tabs feature popularised by the open source Firefox browser, allowing several websites to be open in a single window. It also offers a Quick Tabs feature displaying an overview of all the tabs in a window.
As part of the introduction of Internet Explorer 7 Microsoft will introduce broad support for the RSS syndication technology to Windows.
Rather than every RSS application using its own library with RSS feeds, the technology will introduce a single library that any application can access.
It will also introduce the ability to use RSS for new applications such as publishing calendars or picture slideshows.
Internet Explorer 7 was originally scheduled for release as part of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. But Microsoft said last year that it would bring the browser release forward, promising availability by the summer of 2006.
A first beta of the application was launched last summer to a select group of testers. The current test version will be freely available to anyone who wishes to download it.
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