Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 2

Microsoft has released Beta 2 of its upcoming Internet Explorer 7.0 web browser. Two previews of the beta were made public in late January and March, but this new version has apparently undergone a number of changes. IE Product Manager Margaret Cobb told BetaNews that the new release brings "improved compatibility and a far more reliable browsing experience." Cobb added that the IE team had done "a lot of work under the covers," and that they hope tech enthusiasts will "all take a look at it."

Apparently determined to accelerate user adoption even before the final release ships next year, Microsoft has put up a free phone support helpline for North American customers using the new beta. An IE Add-Ons site has also gone up, offering a number of modular enhancements to the new browser in a fashion similar to Mozilla Firefox's Extensions. Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 2 is freely available from Microsoft's website, although users should be warned that the installer overwrites IE 6.0 and requires a genuine version of Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2003 to run. A complete list of release notes, including fixes and known issues, is available here.

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