Final version of IE 7.0 hits the streets

Nine long months after the release of the first public pre-Beta version, Internet Explorer 7.0 has finally come out in its final form. The browser is available for download from Microsoft's IE page. However, only users of Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Pro x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003 IA64 Edition need apply; the browser is not compatible with older version of Windows. The IE 7.0 installer includes a validation step, as well, so users of a "borrowed" copy of Windows are also excluded.

For those unfamiliar with the prior betas, IE 7.0 brings enhanced security, improved page rendering, tabbed browsing, RSS feed support, a phishing filter, and other miscellaneous changes. Microsoft is expected to roll out its new browser as a "high-priority update" via Windows XP's Automatic Updates utility in the coming weeks. IE 7.0 is also the default browser in the upcoming Windows Vista, which is scheduled to hit stores in January 2007.

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