"The browser wars are over: Microsoft surrenders!"1.5 starson by DarkHawke
Pros: Slick look; tabs (!); improved stability and security (?)
Cons: Vista ONLY?!? ***?!?
Summary: It looks real nice, though I question the decision to pair down to just back and forward navigation buttons. Even Opera at least gives you the nicety of the stop/reload button. It would be great if it would be as configurable as Opera or Firefox in the controls department, but what're the chances of THAT happening? Looks like they're putting some firm but easy to use/configure controls on ActiveX, which will go a long way to increasing the security of the browser (and the underlying OS) and restricting spyware. The tab thumbnail thing sounds cute, but I'd have to see it in action to figure out if there's any practical use.
What kills this browser, though, is expressable in just two words: Vista only. VISTA ONLY?!? What the Falling Under Control of Kenny is THAT about? Only about half of Windows users have even migrated to XP at, what, 3-4 years after release? With a rumored hefty hardware requirement for Vista, the adoption/migration is going to be MUCH slower than even that! I'm no coder, but you can't expect me to believe it's hard AT ALL to work the important security fixes/improvements of IE 7 for Vista into an IE for everyone, i.e. for XP and 98!
This isn't the first instance of it, but this benighted idea of using substantial browser improvements (especially security improvements!) to leverage OS sales is evidence that Microsoft's flying the white flag in the (first?) browser war of the 21st century. This essentially turns what was once a free product into a $100 item. They used to sell the ad-free Opera for less! But it's even worse than that! Your average app, let alone a web browser, doesn't force you to install an entire OPERATING SYSTEM to make it work! This is the most ridiculous "upgrade path" in the history of personal computers. Big Bill had best be hittin' his knees every night to pray that ol' "Mad Dog" Jobs doesn't suddenly see the light and start selling the Mac OS without the overpriced hardward dongle that is the Macintosh computer. For that will be the final nail in the Windows coffin that Bill and Co. have largely constructed themselves, with their baseless arrogance and complete lack of attention to their customers and the market as a whole.