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IE7 Will Have Tabbed Browsing 748

Posted by timothy
from the sir-your-numbers-are-slipping dept.
loconet writes that early yesterday morning, "Dean Hachamovitch, IE product unit manager, confirmed that IE7, like Opera and Firefox first did years ago, will have tabbed browsing as one of its new features. Asa Dotzler,from Mozilla, points out that Dean reminds IE users who have not upgraded to XP that tabbed browsing can be added to IE through 3rd-party add-ons." cryptoz adds a link to this InformationWeek story which says that the tabs will be very "'basic' due to fears from Microsoft that tabbed browsing might scare off too many users. The feature is only being included because IE is slipping in the browser share market."
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IE7 Will Have Tabbed Browsing

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  • Scared? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mfh (56) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:52AM (#12553625) Journal
    Average IE User:

    "My God! TABS! Eeeek!"
    (runs away from computer)

    • Re:Scared? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Aero (98829) <erwin71m@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:04AM (#12553740)
      Of course tabs are scary. Look at which browsers use tabs:

      Mozilla -- Symbolized by a big red carnivorous lizard. Large carnivores are scary, and red things scream "DANGER!".
      Firefox -- Symbolized by...a burning fox. Burning things are scary.
      Opera -- Opera scares a lot of people, and many of those who aren't scared outright just plain don't understand it.

      And then there's IE. Either a big blue E or a harmless little butterfly. Non-threatening. But they're doing some eeeeevil genetic manipulation and taking something out of those scaaaaaary browsers to put into our harmless little IE!

      Of course it'll scare people.
      • Re:Scared? (Score:3, Funny)

        by mo^ (150717)
        I've had some great blue E's in my life ya know.... i can certainly see the attraction....

        though i must say most nights with blue e's were finshed in style in the company of a fox and firing up a doobie .....

        (warning... some poetic license/geek fantasy may have slipped into the latter stages of this)
        • Re:Scared? (Score:3, Informative)

          by MrLint (519792)
          Ya know i just had a flashback of Tom Lerher's "Silent e".

          o/~ Who can turn the internet into disease ridden pustule?.. just add eye-eee!
    • Re:Scared? (Score:5, Funny)

      by DenDave (700621) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:06AM (#12553763)
      And in other news... Longhorn will have a file system, we don't know what exactly or when but we are sure it will have one....

      sorta sounds like...

      this old joke [attrition.org]
    • Re:Scared? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Cro Magnon (467622) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:26AM (#12554026) Homepage Journal
      They don't scream "Eeeek". They scream "Ieeeee"!
  • If M$ is listening (and for the sake of IE, I hope they are) the biggest need to save IE right now is an ability in XP to uninstall IE cleanly. I mean, one should be able to uninstall and install IE at his whim. No strapping it down to the OS crap!

    My brother had his PC infected by a smart viral strain of CoolWebsearch, a nasty Browser Hijacker. I ended up spending a few hours trying to clean it and every time I thought I did, it would pop back up. I gave up, installed Firefox and asked him never to touch IE again. If I had the ability to go to the Control Panel, and nuke IE altogether, thereby getting rid of any unsavory plugins that might have been installed along with it, and doing a fresh install back again, I wouldnt have forced him to move to Firefox. I understand that Browser Hijacker has aspects outside the realm of the browser, but providing the ability to uninstall and reinstall gives power back to the user.

    And this is totally understandable for a bad product. Obviously you want to strap it down with hooks in to the OS as deep as you could, preventing anyone from removing it, since if the user realizes that they could remove it, the first thing they would want to do is nuke it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...except that they can't because of the anti-trust settlement from the browser wars. Remember, Explorer is an integral part of the OS, NOT A competing browser designed to force Netscape out of the market.
    • When MS came out with the 'un-removable' IE4, my roommate discovered that if you used the IE3 uninstaller on IE4, it uninstalled cleanly...
      Yep... technical necessity.....
    • You mean, you tried to remove some spyware app, but because you couldn't it's therefore IE's fault.

      The reason its 'part of the OS' is that the back-end http protocol handlers are reused by every application (well, those that don't want to reinvent the wheel) to connect to the internet. 'Remove' IE (and I guess you don't mean remove 'just the GUI') would cripple a great many programs out there.

      Have you tried spyware removal tools? Or even a anti-virus program? Alternatively, just vape all the browser helpe
      • The reason its 'part of the OS' is that the back-end http protocol handlers are reused by every application (well, those that don't want to reinvent the wheel) to connect to the internet. 'Remove' IE (and I guess you don't mean remove 'just the GUI') would cripple a great many programs out there.

        Why, back where I come from, we used to call that a "library" and it wasn't something we'd keep all warm and idling and share-y. Back in the day, every app could load up its own copy - they ain't so darned big that it matters a whole lot - and everyone goes away happy. This whole IE approach of tryin' to lash application code to this newfangled live executing library-like-but-not code reminds me of the time Poppa Burke was down at the mill and thought we oughta try to power the grinders from the engine on that old junk Chevy he kept settin' out around back. Sure it looked like a good idea, but when he got outta the hospital later that year, he admitted it didn't make no more sense than what yer talkin' about with this IE and "helper objects" and "registry" and stuff. Me? I'm a simple kind a feller and I'll settle for muh libraries the old fashioned way, thank you very much.

      • by Perl-Pusher (555592) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:33AM (#12554119)
        The reason its 'part of the OS' is that the back-end http protocol handlers are reused by every application (well, those that don't want to reinvent the wheel) to connect to the internet. 'Remove' IE (and I guess you don't mean remove 'just the GUI') would cripple a great many programs out there.

        Why then can Solaris,Linux,BeOS, QNX access the internet without a integrated browser installed? Why could you uninstall IE 3 without serious harm?

        You mean, you tried to remove some spyware app, but because you couldn't it's therefore IE's fault.

        Well since ActiveX component technology is what allows these programs to become part of IE, I say hell yeah it's IE's fault, to an extent. A burglar is not the homeowners fault per say. But if you place a note on the door saying "no one is at home the key is under the mat", your doing everything short of asking known robbers to steal from you. The back-end http protocol handlers are reused by every application (well, those that don't want to reinvent the wheel)

        A shared library is not a program! A DLL that cannot be changed or written over by any program would not allow a virus or malware and still provide your code reuse.

      • "The reason its 'part of the OS' is that the back-end http protocol handlers are reused by every application (well, those that don't want to reinvent the wheel) to connect to the internet."

        That's a lame excuse for a company who didn't even see fit to include a TCP/IP stack until around '94. Now that they have one, it's easy for every malware writer and his brother to hijack it, but nearly impossible for the rightful owner to upgrade it with something better.

        This has nothing to do with efficient reuse of
    • by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:21AM (#12553967)
      If you remove IE - specifically, if you remove MSHTML.dll - all sorts of things will break. In XP at least (if not 2k) Windows Explorer will break. SQL Enterprise Manager (v7 was the last I used, I believe) will break. The Help Centre will break.

      Lots of stuff, both MS and third party, uses mshtml.dll for rendering of HTML because it is guaranteed to exist.

      What could be useful is the ability to return IE to an "official" condition, eg base OS install, SP 1, etc, in a single step. That would either require a read-only medium, or some particularly impressive voodoo magic to ensure the integrity of the installation files (whether cached or redownloaded).

      Never forget that a machine infested with spyware is compromised. If you're sufficiently paranoid, you can't trust *any* data or executable on it any more.
  • by Pao|o (92817) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:53AM (#12553629)
    Pop up blocking, tabbed browsing and Anti-virus software. What will MS think off next?
  • Patents? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Has Microsoft patented it yet?
  • Turn off-able? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fyrewulff (702920)
    Hopefully you'll be able to disable them completely - I for one don't use them in Firefox because they just don't jive with me.
    • Re:Turn off-able? (Score:3, Informative)

      by aussie_a (778472)
      Tabs are turn offable in Firefox. Sheeesh. In fact, it took me fiddling with the settings to make it so new windows don't pop up.
  • Love the spin (Score:5, Informative)

    by JebusIsLord (566856) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:54AM (#12553643) Homepage
    Ah the old Slashdot spin machine... actually if you read the IE Blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/default.aspx [msdn.com] the developers are clear that they made the WRONG decision in avoiding tabs the first time, and the tabs will be basic only at the time of beta, but they will be adding more features afterwards.
  • It will be 'an innovation'.
    Personally, I don't se why they wouldn't have tabbed browsing.
  • Office next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Malfourmed (633699) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:55AM (#12553657) Homepage
    "Initially, we had some concerns around complexity and consistency - will it confuse users more than it benefits them? Is it confusing if IE has tabs, but other core parts of the Windows experience, like Windows Media Player or the shell, don't have?"

    How soon until MS Office gets tabs? I for one often have up to a dozen Word and Excel documents open and having them all in the task bar is a pain in the UI.
    • Re:Office next? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thegameiam (671961) <thegameiam@yahERDOSoo.com minus math_god> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:10AM (#12553831) Homepage
      My complaint is the different behavior of all of the office apps:

      In Word, clicking the outermost "close" button closes the document you're working on, but leaves other documents unaffected. In Excel, doing the same action closes all documents. Some of the apps treat indiviual documements completely independantly, and some of them treat them as cascaded windows inside the same instance of the application.

      I would LOVE to see a robust tabbed implementation in Office, especially if (like Firefox) you could run multiple instances of a tabbed application.

      -David Barak
      • by jafac (1449)
        I would LOVE to see a robust tabbed implementation in Office, especially if (like Firefox) you could run multiple instances of a tabbed application.

        Excel has tabs. . .
        (that's sarcasm. I'm shooting for Funny here)
    • Re:Office next? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Laurentiu (830504)
      I remember talking with a Windows programmer friend some years ago about precisely the issue of IE, Mozilla (not yet Firefox) and tabs. What he told me back then was that the MDI as a whole contained some conceptual design flaws (mainly due to the way Windows is handling messages). "That's why", he concluded, "you won't see tabs in IE. Ever." Later on the MDI was dropped in favor of the SDI in the new Office design, so his claims were not without merit.

      BTW, if someone with a superior knowledge of the Windo
  • What, how come Mozilla didn't patent it? ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:56AM (#12553661)
    Why the hell is it that right after I download a huge file in IE ... A dialog box pops up with a huge cancel button saying "copying from temp directory"?!? It's common I'll be typing something and press the spacebar by accident and it kills the moving file. Why the hell would I download a massive file and suddenly want to kill it at the last minute while it was being copied from the temp ?? Who wants such a feature??

    This is really a stupid "feature" of IE. I doubt they'll fix it cause well quite frankly I won't be surprised if IE developers use FireFox.
    • This shouldn't be modded "funny". It's a much worse design flaw than not having tabbed browing.
      If a popup can grab the focus like that, a malicious program that needs user interaction to do its badness could keep on popping up dialogs until it gets lucky and the user just happens to be hitting the "Y" key at the same time.
    • Its actually a crappy feature of the OS itself...allowing one program to grab focus while you are typing something / about to click something is just plain stupid. Can be fixed using one of the settings in TweakUI, available as a free download from the MS website.
    • Popups capturing focus seems to be an inherent bug in all windowing systems. It happens to me all the time on my Mac and linux boxes. I've seen it with X Windows using every window manager I've ever tried. I've asked about it in a couple of newsgroups, and the answer was basically to inform me of what an idiot I am for not appreciating the brilliance of the design.

      We should be hitting the developers of every platform for this problem.

  • side scrolling webpages...

    yea, they're increasing in popularity.
  • The way Opera handles tabbed browsing and the way Firefox handles tabbed browsing are so different, grouping them both under the header "tabbed browsing" make little sense. But which of these methods will IE7 use? Or perhaps something completely different? (Personally, I think Opera's is great and Firefox's is half-assed and hacked-on. I can't imagine Microsoft following the Firefox way.)
    • it seems everyone who has replied so far hasnt used opera and wonders what's so great about it. (And one person who says he prefers firefox because it has a feature... which opera also has)

      Firefox's tabbed browsing is a set of buttons with a tabbed look which swap the active URL (*I know it's not as simple as just that, no use pointing that out). Opera on the other hand is a full MDI- something which OSS programs seem to all be against for some reason (usually saying "the window manager should handle that"
  • Share slipping... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluprint (557000) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:57AM (#12553670) Homepage
    The feature is only being included because IE is slipping in the browser share market.

    Umm...and? I think there is some implied meaning in the above statement, but I'm not sure what it is. Isn't that what companies do? If they see trends in the market shift towards certain features/needs/wants of consumers, they respond with providing consumers with what they want.
    • by ssj_195 (827847) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:14AM (#12553868)
      I think the implication is that Microsoft are lazy and arrogant (having previously dismissed tabs as being useless, and stating that "their customers did not want them"). Microsoft have allowed their browser to languish horribly, to the detriment of the users that they apparently hold in high-esteem, and the only thing that has gotten them to actually make any improvements is the threat of losing market share. Microsoft will now, of course, crow about their revolutionary new Tabbed Browsing(TM) feature that they have provided to enhance your browsing experience, and the unknowing masses will fall for it hook, line and sinker, praising Microsoft as an innovative company who puts the needs of its customers first. This is what, I think, gets most people's goat.
    • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:43AM (#12554234) Homepage
      The implied meaning is that Microsoft doesn't improve their products on its own, but only when competition force it to do so.
    • by Gopal.V (532678) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:45AM (#12554261) Homepage Journal
      Isn't that what companies do? If they see trends in the market shift towards certain features/needs/wants of consumers, they respond with providing consumers with what they want.

      If you think the lack of Tabbed browsing is reducing IE's popularity, then I want whatever you are smoking. IE is getting unpopular due to spyware and drive-by-installs of malware. Why people are switching to firefox is to avoid those porn popups and phishing sites.

      Security and geeks tired of fixing their in-law's PC's is the reason for IE's market share dipping. Oh, and faster PC's capable of rendering XUL fast.
  • Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by poopdeville (841677) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:58AM (#12553679)
    this InformationWeek story [...] says that the tabs will be very "'basic' due to fears from Microsoft that tabbed browsing might scare off too many users.

    Microsoft just doesn't seem to get it. From an "ease of use" standpoint, the best software is designed so that it's easy for a novice to use -- by hiding the "scary" options and so on. But it's also designed so that a user whose comfortable with the software can learn tricks, customizations, and so on to make his work faster. In short, the software has to grow as the user's skills grow.

    Very few companies actually get this. Apple has made progress in this direction, as has the open source movement. But they're both well off.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:58AM (#12553684)
    Hey, look! This funny browser has tabs, just like in Internet Explorer!
  • by mcsporran (832624) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:00AM (#12553698)
    Wait for it: The moment it is released, all the little MS Press Drones will start to sing the praises of this wonderful new innovation, brought to you buy the wonderful people at Microsoft, the fact that we (Proper browser users) have been using this excellent interface for years now, will some how be not be newsworthy Compare: Win 95 a.k.a. Mac 88
  • If M$ is listening (and for the sake of IE, I hope they are) the biggest need to save IE right now is an ability in XP to uninstall IE cleanly. I mean, one should be able to uninstall and install IE at his whim. No strapping it down to the OS crap!

    I agree wholeheartadly, but the main reason Internet Explorer dominates 85 - 95% of the market (depending on who you ask) is that it is bundled with Windows, and not really removable. I've noticed that even when I recommend Firefox to Windows users, they eventu

  • whoopdy doo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:02AM (#12553719)
    Where the hell is CSS2.1? or SVG? Or fixes for the problems which keep causing web developers to spend longer hacking their sites for IE than actually developing it in the first place.

    And they're working on tabs?
  • by ceeam (39911) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:20AM (#12553955)
    Will it support CSS1? Is CSS2 support scheduled for IE8.0 or should we expect that later?
  • My father can hardly install his own software and calls me all the time with *simple* questions. When I moved him to Firefox and showed him the tabs, he thought that was the best thing about the browser. Once again Microsoft demonstrates that they are very out of touch with the average computer user.
  • by bujoojoo (161227) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:29AM (#12554070)
    Maybe they'll starting working on standards compliance.
  • Tabbed brainwash (Score:3, Informative)

    by flibuste (523578) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:53AM (#12554365)

    The funny thing in the tabbed browsing argument from the M$ guy is that it really is just so not credible, and those people really seem to think users and others are just idiots.

    "Some people have asked why we didn't put tabs in IE sooner," Hachamovitch wrote. "Initially, we had some concerns around complexity and consistencywill it confuse users more than it benefits them? Is it confusing if IE has tabs, but other core parts of the Windows experience, like Windows Media Player or the shell, don't have?"

    Big lie. The simple fact that they didn't even consider making it optional is because with the current IE codebase, it's just plain impossible. Everyone knows how M$ can't create modular softwares. It s not the Windows OS, it's the M$ culture and the poor programming and software engineering that is part of their habits.
    • by RupW (515653) *
      Big lie. The simple fact that they didn't even consider making it optional is because with the current IE codebase, it's just plain impossible. Everyone knows how M$ can't create modular softwares.

      Twaddle. The IE rendering engine is modular, which is why everything uses it, which is why everyone complains "it's a part of the OS". Visual Studio.NET, for example, has tabs that can contain IE controls - you can use it in effect as a tabbed browser. Ditto recent versions of HTML help.
  • by dos_dude (521098) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:08AM (#12554576) Homepage
    I don't get it. Really. I just don't get it.

    Years ago, MS told us that the multiple-document interface was bad because users supposedly weren't able to deal with it. Then they stepped back and reintroduced it in their next office update. Now IE is going to get MDI in the only way that really is usable: with tabs.

    But that's not the point that I'm not getting. Pondering the best, most usable solution is a good thing. Even if it takes a couple of years. Even if it's done by Microsoft. No. What I don't get is the apparent hypocrisy.

    Whether a browser is safe and usable isn't only determined by such in-your-face features as boring ol' tabs. Have you ever tried to tweak IE's options? Whether you are a complete noob or somebody that has been admining Windows machines for the last ten years, the options dialog is one part of IE that makes you run away screaming for you mommy.

    Options with labels that are hard to understand (to put it mildly) that are caved into a too small dialog that cannot be resized. I don't know how much of this is due to a very bad localization. But the German version actually features an option that you could back-translate to "Enable page transitions". Help item: "Determines whether Internet Explorer will blank the current page and display the next page when you leave a page." Huh?

    If somebody really thinks that tabs might make IE a substantially better browser, he hasn't used it yet.
  • Watch MS... (Score:3, Funny)

    by dmaxwell (43234) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:16AM (#12554691)
    Imply that they invented tabbed browsing and all the rest. They'll throw the word "innovation" around a lot.

    Even more depressing: watch the MS fanbois eat it up.
  • by Errtu76 (776778) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:49AM (#12555172) Journal
    ..if FF supported a domain proxy (MS ISA) out of the box. Right now i get things working using APS [sourceforge.net] but this is a one-user-only solution, and not a pretty one even.
  • Prediction! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigbigbison (104532) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @11:01AM (#12555330) Homepage
    I'm predicting right now that IE7's new tabbed browsing feature will come complete with IE only HTML code for webpages to open links in new tabs. Which, of course, means that it is only a matter of time before we have pop-up tabs!!!
  • by SnprBoB86 (576143) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @11:18AM (#12555585) Homepage
    When I working in VS.net, I love to have all my code files on tabs because I have so many of them, and I am usually not working on more than one at a time (and if I am using two at once, I split the document pane)

    With my web browser, I have never found the need to use tabs. In fact, tabs have often confused me because I wind up having two or three firefox windows each with a variety of tabs, and they aren't organized well. In VS.net, every window is a solution and the tabs are documents in that solution, but in a browser, there is no analogous divider, so I would like the ability to move tabs between windows.

    Some poster above wanted tabs in all MS Office apps, this just proves that the concept of tabs could be universally applied to all applications... kind of like the taskbar! Think about it, tabs aren't any different than a taskbar, except they are nested one level deeper.

    I propose a hierarchical, organizable taskbar. Rather than a hard and fast rule like "if the taskbar gets full, group like applications" I would like to be able to create groups and move windows into and out of groups. Applications should have API control over their own windows organization (user overridable of course), so VS.net could, for example, group applications by solution.

    This solution eliminates the need to add tabs support to every single application and creates a common and more robust tab solution.

    What does everyone think?
  • by amichalo (132545) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @11:47AM (#12555999)
    From the blog [msdn.com]:
    Is it confusing if IE has tabs, but other core parts of the Windows experience, like Windows Media Player or the shell, don't have tabs?

    Um, What's been at the bottom of Excel for over a decade? Oh, excuse me, those are "worksheets", not "tabs". How could I be so insensitive?
  • by arbi (704462) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:42PM (#12557438)
    Funny how quickly MS's stance changes. I have 6 more months to go with my prediction. Let's see if I make it in time! :)
    Features such as tabbed browsing are not important to IE users 11/12/04 [slashdot.org]
  • Yes, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rathehun (818491) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:46PM (#12557507) Homepage
    See the point which is getting lost here, among the euphoria of Firefox getting to 50 mil and Opera swimming across the stormy ocean and all, is one which was brought up a long time ago ~ 2001/2002, is this.

    Microsofts strategy is not innovation. It never has been.

    What it has been doing, is to incorporate things in so that for 70 - 80 % of the people, things work fairly ok.
    A friend of mine has been using XP for some time, and when I tried to convert him over to 10.3, he was like - why should I? Luna (the XP theme) is good enough for me.

    I think this is the critical statement. Good enough. As soon as IE has few enough security holes that Microsoft Anti-Spyware can catch everything that sneaks through, what need has Joe User for Firefox?

    Seriously. Think about it. On my XP box, I use ZoneAlarm. There is now a one-way firewall with SP2. I use Ad-Aware and Spybot, along with HijackThis. There is a beta-version of MS anti-Spyware available.
    I also use something called Anti-Vir. Mostly because NAV was such a piece of bloatware. Now with rumours that there will be a MS branded antivirus program, tell me, which Joe User is going to keep a multitude of programs, each of which need to be updated seperately, instead of some Microsoft Security Program, which keeps 80-90% of all the Bad Stuff(tm) off their computer?

    In one way, this is probably a good thing. It frees up resources which were previously going to fix security holes to develop cool new features. However, I am, personally a little concerned about the dominance of one company over so many diverse parts of the user-experience.

    Ah well. There is always my Mac.

    Take care, R.

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