The company has called software and Web developers to Las Vegas March 20-22 at a conference dubbed “Mix 06” to help finalize Internet Explorer 7, which was released last month in a so-called preview.
A beta version will be released in the second quarter, with the final versions — one for Windows XP, the other for Windows Vista — when Vista ships late in the year.
IE7 is “evolutionary,” said Gary Schare, Microsoft’s director of product management for the browser. “Not quite revolutionary, but it’s a big change.”
“Our goal is that it makes everyday tasks easier.”
Changes include moving closer to full W3C compliance in rendering with cascading style sheets (CSS), making it easier for developers to write applications for more than one browser.
The CSS auto alignment has also been changed to make it easier to build three-column layouts and fixing some bugs.
Security is being improved by disabling certain ActiveX components in Windows, which can be switched back on if needed.
A new real syndication service engine is included in IE7 that lets RSS applications connect to any Windows application, a time-saver for developers using the technology.
New end-user features include tabs, integrated search and what Schare called “dramatically improved printing.”