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IE7 Details Emerge 946

Posted by timothy
from the finger-in-wind dept.
Varg Vikernes writes "Microsoft Watch has a story about new features we can expect in IE7 (code named 'Rincon') which they gathered through Microsoft's key partners. Apparently we can expect 32 bit PNG support, native IDN support, new functionality that will simplify printing from inside IE and, of course, tabbed browsing. The new browser also will likely include a built-in news aggregator. Apparently an important factor is security."
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IE7 Details Emerge

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  • security (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eric Smith (4379) * <eric@brouhaha.cDEBIANom minus distro> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:39PM (#11948237) Homepage Journal
    Apparently an important factor is security.
    Though for real security, you'll have to wait for IE10, code named "Urysses".
    • Re:security (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pandora's Vox (231969) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:01PM (#11948504) Homepage Journal
      my concern here lies with the implementation of IDN support... a solution has not been found for the browsers that already implement it (other than turning it off - not a reasonable trade-off for those who want to use IDN sites).

      the original idn exploit:
      http://www.shmoo.com/idn/

      unicode draft technical report on security and UTF8:
      http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr36/tr36-2. html

      • Re:security (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:06PM (#11948556) Homepage Journal
        Actually, a fairly reasonable visual tradeoff could be to display all extended characters in a different color.

        For instance, if the extended characters were displayed in purple, but the normal characters remained black, then you could continue using it, and KNOW that its a mixed domain.

        Infact, just typing that gives another solution, have mixed domains (std and extended) come up in a totally different size/style.

        That way, all normal domains look normal, and all extended domains also look normal, but those using a combination are glagged as such.

        just a thought.
        • Re:security (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Pandora's Vox (231969) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:22PM (#11948708) Homepage Journal
          that's a very reasonable way of doing it, but i wonder if maybe making the location bar a different colour as FireFox does for secure sites might be a better - in the sense of more obvious - solution.

          it's kind of funny, though, how it is essentially our (as in the mostly-north-american-and-western-european readership of slashdot)'s lack of familiarity with the writing systems of the rest of the world that are getting us into this particular pickle.

          add that to bad eyes from gazing into a CRT for too many hours, and designers with predelictions for ever-smaller fonts, and you have quite the character set predicament.
          • Re:security (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LiquidCoooled (634315)
            I actually think it needs to be extended a little further. We could be on the right track with this, but certainly cannot be solved instantly (hence the delays in fixing within FF etc)

            Its not just unicode wildly extended characters that need catering for, it is all characters which can be alternatives to standard characters.

            We used to use full ascii, and unicode to allow us to have "normal" looking nicknames in the chatroom where I used to hang out, but still kept unique short names - for instance "liqui
          • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel&bcgreen,com> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @10:33PM (#11949829) Homepage Journal
            it's kind of funny, though, how it is essentially our (...)'s lack of familiarity with the writing systems of the rest of the world that are getting us into this particular pickle.

            Actually no. The problem is really just that UTF-8 is too powerful. There are half a dozen ways to encode something that looks like an 'a'. It can actually get worse for people who are multilingual -- A Frenchman who expects a site encoded with an accented A (ä) might then be sent a URL where a similar looking character (ä) is encoded out of some other page. In this case, both ä's will be marked as extended UTF characters, so there may be no easy way for a user to distinguish between the 'legitimate' site and the phish monger. You tell me which one is legitimate! (and, yes, they are different encodings in this posting).

        • Re:security (Score:3, Informative)

          by superyooser (100462)
          That is a not a good solution [gerv.net].
      • IDN solution (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cryptoluddite (658517) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @11:41PM (#11950281)
        The solution is pretty obvious IMO: when looking up the domain name get some other records such as the company name, contact address, etc and display them in the URL bar, window title, status, or some other place. Perhaps a firefox-style extra panel that appears and gives that info.

        Who cares if the site says it is www.bank.com if you can easily see it is registered to Boris at his mom's basement in Russia?

      • Re:security (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lew Pitcher (68631) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @11:54PM (#11950351) Homepage

        FWIW, I'm of the opinion that this "IDN exploit" that shmoo.com publisized has been overblown. While I agree that the "exploit" is certainly serious, I do not concur that it is isolated to IDN. Instead, the "exploit" is common to all DNSname processing.

        With the right (or wrong) font, http://slashdot.org/ and http://s1ashdot.org/ look like the same URL. But they are not. And neither of these two URLs are expressed in IDN.

        The key is that the two URLs look alike, and this is an exposure with all URLs.

        So, is IDN at fault for the shmoo.com "exposure"? No, since the "exposure" exists without the use of internationalized URLs.

    • Re:security (Score:4, Funny)

      by ockegheim (808089) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:55PM (#11949028)

      Don't knock "Urysses". He returned after after twenty years and almost single handedly killed all his wife's suitors [uoregon.edu]. So if IE went to the wilderness a couple of years ago, say, the competing browsers will have a lot to worry about in ummm... 2023.

  • So, basically... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:39PM (#11948244)
    It's Firefox... from last year?
    • by rpozz (249652) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:49PM (#11948369)
      It doesn't need to be any better than Firefox - it just needs to be sufficiently good enough for 'normal' people not to want to bother with using another browser.

      This, is why a monopoly shouldn't be allowed to bundle software.
    • Brilliant isn't it?
      Firefox becomes a research and development team for Microsoft. And since the open source community won't patent their stuff, MS is free to steal the ideas that worked.

      When it arrives, IE7 will be praised by the press as a step into the future.
      • by hkmwbz (531650) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:44PM (#11948941) Journal
        Pray tell... What R&D has Firefox done "on behalf of Microsoft"? What fresh Firefox ideas are MS about to "steal"? Please be specific.
      • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @09:19PM (#11949203)
        And since the open source community won't patent their stuff, MS is free to steal the ideas that worked.

        *cough*OpenOffice*cough

        You mean Firefox is going to have these features removed??
      • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @11:35PM (#11950252)
        >And since the open source community won't patent their stuff, MS is free to steal the ideas that worked.

        Oh, like tabs? Predates firefox.

        Oh perhaps pop-up blocking. Predates firefox.

        Maybe that little info bar in FF 1.0. Whoops, that was shamelessly copied ffrom IE SP2.

        First off, Firefox isnt all that original, its just a good implementation. Secondly, its the LACK of patents that keep Mozilla going. Imagine if Netcaptor (or whoever it was) got a patent on tabbed browsing. Whoops. You think they'd politely share? Yeah right. Not to mention, if the OSS did patent stuff, then it would kinda defeat the purpose of going open source. No OSS developer has the ideological spirit to turn down a million dollar check from MS, not to mention most OSS developers arent going to drop 5 grand down for a patent and defend it (more legal fees!) because they felt like making and sharing some software. Goes against the whole DIY and share approach.
    • not even (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:23PM (#11948715)
      Without a full commitment to CSS2, this in no way comes even _close_ to FF, even the FF from last year. Pathetic.

      And when you take into account the vast amount of tab control you have in FF when you have 'Tabbrowser Extensions' installed, no way is IE going to approach that level of functionality.

      Looks like there may still be a place for the 'real' IE7 [edwards.name] . *sigh*
      • Re:not even (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KarmaMB84 (743001)
        CSS2 isn't really the reason people are switching to Firefox. Security is. MS could probably just release IE 7 tomorrow, claim they fixed the security issues and be set. Added features would just be an extra nicety.
  • by Megaslow (694447) * on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:40PM (#11948246) Homepage
    rincon is Spanish for "corner"... Perhaps a not-so-Freudian-slip on what they want to do to the browser market?

    It will be interesting to see what else (other than tabbed browsing & RSS aggregation) will be "inspired" by Firefox and other browers, say perhaps, easy plugins and themes?

  • hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by eobanb (823187) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:40PM (#11948250) Homepage
    an important factor is security

    well, that's never stopped them before...
  • Secure (Score:5, Funny)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:41PM (#11948261) Homepage Journal
    Apparently we can expect 32 bit PNG support, native IDN support, new functionality that will simplify printing from inside IE and, of course, tabbed browsing. The new browser also will likely include a built-in news aggregator. Apparently an important factor is security."

    Yes, it will feature the reintroduction of Clippy, who will be wearing a policeman's hat, of appropriate costume for your region (e.g. uk get a bobbies hat) Clippy will also take certain cues from the current political climate...

    It looks like you wanted to visit some heathen site unassociated with Microsoft, you would like to do the following:

    Return to MSN

    Remove all related items from cache

    Submit your bookmarks for review

    Block all futher access to [www.google.com]

    [YES] [OK]
    "and don't let me catch you installing any other browser or it's the clink for you!"
  • by msully4321 (816359) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:41PM (#11948265) Homepage
    Since they crushed Netscape, Microsoft has not had to improve their browser any significant amount. It seems the threat from Firefox is forcing them to innovate and improve in a market they once took for granted.
    • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:50PM (#11948381) Homepage Journal
      Firefox is not so much a threat (its market share is still tiny) as an embarassment. It's evidence that Microsoft is way behind in figuring out what kind of software people need and getting it out the door. That's always been an issue (remember how many versions of MS-DOS shipped without a decent text editor?) but when they screw up with something as conspicuous as a web browser, people notice.
    • Innovate??? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Horrortaxi (803536) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:52PM (#11948399)
      I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say they'll innovate. Innovate means they will break new ground and offer something you haven't seen before. They'll offer what all the other browsers have had for 2 years and that's it. No innovation, just keeping up with the Jonses. Now maybe they'll have some innovative marketing plan or some innovative predatory practices that will allow them to rincon the browser market again. That's where Microsoft really innovates.
    • by RoadWarriorX (522317) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:00PM (#11948497) Homepage
      It seems the threat from Firefox is forcing them to innovate and improve in a market they once took for granted.

      Have you RTFA? Tabbed browsing, IDN support, RSS news aggregator all available in Firefox in some form. So, where exactly is the innovation? Possibly anti-spyware integration??? That's like a mouse setting a mouse trap for itself.

      Additionally, Microsoft's "improvement" is really their way of saying that they are now in "catch up" mode.

      I don't mean to flame you, but customers should not look forward to the next version of IE in six months or so, when they can get virtually the same features today with Firefox.

      All I need to say is "Why Even Bother".
  • by Bnonn (553709) <bnonny@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:41PM (#11948268) Homepage Journal
    No kidding eh...

    Are they basing it on the IE6 code? If so, why? If they're completely rebuilding the Windows code for Longhorn, wouldn't it be smart to do the same with IE?

  • printing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phil246 (803464) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:41PM (#11948274)
    "new functionality that will simplify printing from inside IE"
    in other words, theyve fixed it so printing from IE isnt as retarded?
    how hard can it be to print a page without chopping parts off
  • by Renraku (518261) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:42PM (#11948288) Homepage
    Lets not forget about the OS-crippling bugs and security holes big enough to drive a DVD-full of arbitary code through.
  • by nick-less (307628) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:43PM (#11948292)
    but nearly one will ever install it unless MS forces them via autoupdate...
    I bet I IE5 and IE6 will still annoy us for many many years...
  • Name change for IE7 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54@yaho o . com> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:43PM (#11948299)
    I guess that IE7 [edwards.name] will have to change its name.

    And about MS's product: I just hope they fix all their CSS issues and add support for CSS 3.

  • Security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Swamii (594522) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:45PM (#11948314) Homepage
    Apparently an important factor is security.

    Good for them, it's about time. SP2 was a step in the right direction: blocked ActiveX & Java by default was a good move. I'll be interested in seeing how they deal with .NET applets that want to elevate permissions. I know that .NET code is sandboxed over the web, but from what I've read, it seems they plan on allowing permission elevations via a single click from the user. Let's hope they really focus on security and really lock down all non-verifiable 3rd party code being run through the browser.
    • by the_skywise (189793) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:49PM (#11948371)
      " it seems they plan on allowing permission elevations via a single click from the user"

      How many security violations have there been already by the simple "A script is accessing some software (an ActiveX control) on this page which has been marked safe for scripting. Do you want to allow this?"

      [YES]

      SPYWARE INSTALLED YOU HAVE B33N 0WNED LUZ0R!!!
    • Re:Security (Score:3, Interesting)

      by welshbyte (839992)
      blocked ActiveX & Java by default was a good move

      For the sake of accuracy, its ActiveX and Javascript, not Java, that were blocked by default. Any removal [microsoft.com] of Java from IE is going to come years in the future and is due to a court decision and a very relaxed attitude to the timescale by Sun. Getting back on topic, i don't think a simple browser should even have to worry about a thing like permissions. This should be done at a higher level closer to the OS. If security is an issue with IE they need t
  • by PineHall (206441) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:46PM (#11948325)

    Partner sources say Microsoft is wavering on the extent to which it plans to support CSS2 with IE 7.0.

    Microsoft still wants to be the one to set the standards

  • by SlashThat (859697) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:46PM (#11948328)
    Built-in news aggregator = Advertising platform?
  • by bmw (115903) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:46PM (#11948333)
    Is anyone else screaming WHAT ABOUT CSS?! IE is the single largest reason I don't enjoy doing web development. If they could somehow manage to actually support some accepted standards (other than their own) it would make life oh so much better for all of us.
    • by Khomar (529552) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:00PM (#11948496) Journal
      Is anyone else screaming WHAT ABOUT CSS?!

      This was mentioned in the article, and it is not exactly great news:

      Partner sources say Microsoft is wavering on the extent to which it plans to support CSS2 with IE 7.0. Developers have been clamoring for Microsoft to update its CSS support to support the latest W3C standards for years. But Microsoft is leaning toward adding some additional CSS2 support to IE 7.0, but not embracing the standard in its entirety, partners say.

      Which features are they not going to support? Given my experience with them, it will probably be the very ones that I would actually like to use. :-) Why is it that they are so loathe to adopt standards? Is their code that flaky, or is it truly their monopolistic tendencies?

      • Perhaps some of CSS2 requires updating the windows widgets to support more styling effects - I could see that being a bit of a pain.

        Anyway realistically they only need to improve IE enough to supress firefox growth. I'm sure they don't really care that much about CSS support. For advanced web-applications they'd much rather people use the proprietary Avalon stuff soon to be released in 2009*.

        (* Give or take a few years)
    • In the mean time, Dean Edwards gives us the gift [edwards.name].
  • Factor this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dallask (320655) <`codeninja' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:47PM (#11948344) Homepage
    When MS says that "an important factor is security" what their really saying is "We know the linux community will rigorusly test our product and find our bugs for us... when they do, we'll fix those bugs immidiately... or at least in a few months."
  • xp/2003 only? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:47PM (#11948345) Homepage Journal
    So is this when they finally cut off ( and piss off ) all the *millions* of users that still have 98/NT/2000?

    Users that cant upgrade unless they get newer hardware. Users that know what they have now does the job and have resisted the 'upgrade scam'.

    • Re:xp/2003 only? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by optimus2861 (760680)

      So is this when they finally cut off ( and piss off ) all the *millions* of users that still have 98/NT/2000?

      To be fair to MS, 98 and NT are already past their mainstream support phases if you look at their support site Linky [microsoft.com]. However, in the case of 2000, you're dead-on; it's really taken the shaft compared to XP, even though it's still in its mainstream support phase until the end of June. No back-port of any of the XP security changes made for SP2, and of course no back-port for this either. Puts t

  • by Deliveranc3 (629997) <`gro.4level' `ta' `ecnareviled'> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:48PM (#11948348) Journal
    Firefox is done.

    We had 5 years of Microsoft laziness to inovate and take over and we blew it. We suck.

    I will still use Opera, and I guess we can wait for security holes again... but they stole our tabbed browsing. It's all over people.
    • Untill IE7 will have support for FireFox extensions, firefox won't be done.
      For me, tabbed browsing is not a major goodie for firefox, but it's adblock, spurl.net extension, foxytunes, dictionary search and alot more. And three of them does not have any equivalent for IE and not even opera.
      What makes firefox strong is the extensibility and the open source, which made it browser of all time.
  • Implement many new browser features that have caught on in Opera, Mozilla & Firefox. Secure it up a little. As long as its bundled with the operating system, and they pay a little lip service in the press to improved security, Joe User will continue taking the path of least resistance, i.e., IE (pun intended)
  • by ad0gg (594412) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:53PM (#11948415)
    "Sources say that IE 7.0 - which is code-named "Rincon," they hear - will be a tabbed browser."

    Wonder if Microsoft will pull an Apple and sue Microsoft Watch [slashdot.org]. Seriously think about it, information on MS products are leaked on to the web everyday.

  • by MoFoQ (584566) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:53PM (#11948418)
    what about the real important stuff....like real RFC and W3C compliance and not "pseudo"?
    Examples: digest authentication is not implemented correctly in IE hence most webservers use a work-around to make it work, which also happens to make it not be truly digest authentication...or the fact that if u gzip-encode all files and you have zip files, IE will convienently forget that the zip file was gzipped, leaving a file that most zip programs like Windows own built-in Zip Folders can't handle (WinRAR will correctly ungzip it before processing the zip file).

    Of course, alpha-blending support for PNG would be nice...as well as CSS2 support (for those dynamic pulldown menus that can be done purely in CSS).

  • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:55PM (#11948441) Homepage Journal
    Partner sources say Microsoft is wavering on the extent to which it plans to support CSS2 with IE 7.0. Developers have been clamoring for Microsoft to update its CSS support to support the latest W3C standards for years. But Microsoft is leaning toward adding some additional CSS2 support to IE 7.0, but not embracing the standard in its entirety, partners say.
    We have got to find a way to make MS fully support CSS2. Hold Bill and Melinda's cat hostage or something. It's a trivial amount of effort on their part, that would make life a lot easier for web developers.
  • by stephenisu (580105) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @07:56PM (#11948452)
    No more, no less.. OK, and tabs. And maybe some decent plugins.. and maybe.. Nah, screw it. I'll just keep messing with Firefox.
  • by b_w_duncan (709534) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:05PM (#11948548)
    How long before they have patent on tabbed browsing?
  • CSS Support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 33degrees (683256) <33degrees AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:17PM (#11948652)
    Partner sources say Microsoft is wavering on the extent to which it plans to support CSS2 with IE 7.0. Developers have been clamoring for Microsoft to update its CSS support to support the latest W3C standards for years. But Microsoft is leaning toward adding some additional CSS2 support to IE 7.0, but not embracing the standard in its entirety, partners say.
    With their self-proclaimed focus on developers, why aren't they taking CSS support more seriously? Do they realise the amount of ill0will they've generated towards themselves from web developpers who are fed-up with having to produce hack-filled css files so that their sites will display correctly on IE?
  • by Evil W1zard (832703) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:19PM (#11948674) Journal
    RINCON = Really Its Not Changed Or New
  • by Skraut (545247) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @08:27PM (#11948752) Journal
    I told her Firefox was IE 7 and she's been happily been using it for months, and thanking me for upgrading.
  • by dtjohnson (102237) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @09:05PM (#11949113)
    Improving the security of Windows will require a lot more than an IE update. Microsoft starts with basically insecure processes and then trys to plug all of the unintended uses (aka security holes) that they can think of.

    For example, look at the standard Windows update procedure for Windows XP. First, you have to go to a website to download software that you then allow to run on your system looking for updates. Then, you have to let the software download a sometimes long list of self-installing 'updates' from some location that the Microsoft software selects for you. The download procedure gives the user very little supervisory control over the process and doesn't even do very simple things such as display checksum data to let the user verify the integrity of the downloads. There is also little, if any, indication of what the downloads will do or replace. Yet Microsoft considers this inherently insecure process to be their standard procedure for updating their flagship operating system.

    Microsoft needs to change their entire philosophy wherein they think that they should be able to anything they want with your computer at any time while the bad guys are not supposed to use the same mechanisms to steal your data and your cycles.

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