Microsoft releases beta 2 preview of IE 7 to developers

Microsoft has released the preview version of its second beta of Internet Explorer 7, which the company said sports increased security and a better interface.

Gary Schare, director of Internet Explorer product management, said this beta of Internet Explorer 7 turns off ActiveX controls by default to help protect against malware, has a filter and alert system to protect against fraudulent Web sites, and warns users if a Web site domain name uses letters different from the language chosen by the user.

Such characters can disguise a Web site's true identity and could indicate fraudulent activity.

"We've rewritten entire sections of code where there were a lot of vulnerabilities in the past and where hackers have poked at them," Schare said.

Usability features in Beta 2 include a shrink-to-fit feature to resize Web pages for printing, tabbed browsing windows and an RSS blog reader.

Microsoft is aiming this preview version at software developers and recommends that they install it on nonproduction PCs.

The final release is due in the second half of this year.

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