First Impressions Of IE7

IE7 Beta 2 fails to impress due to numerous problems.

11th April 2006 · Last updated: 21st December 2023


So I finally downloaded IE7 Beta 2 to test a website I remade recently. I chose to set it up as a standalone browser, so I could still use IE6, and because it is still a beta. I was expecting at the very least a product equal to IE6. Hopefully with improvements on top. Instead, it's possibly the worst excuse for a browser I've yet seen. I know it's a beta, but even a pre-beta preview from Opera is better than this.

Firstly, the menus are giving me an error when I open them. I think this is down to using a standalone version. I can still use the menu options, but this error message comes up:

UpdaterUI.exe - Entry Point Not Found
The procedure entry point InternetGetSecurityInfoByUrlW could not be located in the dynamic link library WININET.dll.

I also get an error when deleting the history and cache:

ERROR in C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetcpl.cpl
Missing entry:ClearMyTracksByProcess

Again, I'm guessing this only happens with the standalone version, which doesn't overwrite IE6. However, running it also seems to have affected IE6. The Home button now opens a new tab in Opera!

When IE7 first starts up, it offers various options. Trying to change the language via the drop down menu results in a blocked pop-up! From then on, you can't use the menu. Nor any other links, or the Favorites button, until you leave that page. It turns out after some more testing that... wait for it...


This means they get blocked, making whole groups of sites and pages useless. (At least until you manually unblock them.)

OK, so I go to my home page, a local HTML file, and try a link to another local file. It said it couldn't load it! I don't get that one.*

So I hit the web, where I find scrolling is watery, especially on zoomed pages. Zooming also fails to enlarge background images, making a mess of my work site! Input buttons are also larger for some reason. That will ruin a lot of tight layouts. (Update 12th April 2006: This was down to some code targetted at Opera, which now works in IE7 too.)

Hovering over some text in a menu while zoomed also flickered between two sizes. One seemed to use less kerning. Probably an error in converting the zoom percentage to pixels.

So I tried the New Tab button, only to see an error come up that there was no page to display! Er... yes, because I've not loaded one yet. Luckily there's an option to set a new tab to open the home page. However, this did not work when I turned it on. I think I need to restart IE7 first. (Update 12th April 2006: Nope. It still doesn't work.)

I quite like the Quick Tabs screen, only the scrollbar there doesn't use XP's generic styling, but the old Windows look. (Horrid to me.)

I also see problems on web pages that appear identical in all other main Windows browsers. Luckily this site looks OK!

Scrolling with the mousewheel is another problem. I found when you stop, IE7 carries on scrolling in very slow steps. I thought I was seeing things. Sometimes it scrolls in the opposite direction. So you lose your place on the page, while the browser goes into auto-scroll!

I don't like the buttons either. Must the user move right to the top left corner to go back? Then to the right corner to refresh? Can't the navigation buttons be grouped together? Or better still, let the user move them around on the toolbar as they wish.

If this is the best Microsoft can come up with (and yes I know it's still a beta) I'd be seriously worried. Firefox runs rings around this. There's no way people will convert back if IE7 is as poor as this.

I'm sure there are further horrors to emerge, were I to use it for longer than I did. Only I felt like rushing back to Opera as fast as I could. I sincerely hope XP users don't have to put up with such a poor browsing tool when the final version ships.

I will await further releases to see if it improves.

* Update 12th April 2006:

Turned out that the local file was a wrongly coded link (although no other browser failed to open the file). I had written the link as file:/D:\My Documents\bookmarks3.html. I noted IE7 differed in the way it 'rewrote' this link. It actually doubled the drive letter! Compare the following ways each browser showed the link on hovering over it:

Original link:
file:/D:\My Documents\bookmarks3.html
Firefox 1.5:
file:///D:/My Documents/bookmarks3.html
Opera 9 Preview 2:
I E6:
file:///D:/My Documents/bookmarks3.html
file:///D:/D:/My Documents/bookmarks3.html

Note the two D's in the IE7 version of the link.

Comments (1)

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  1. Kasey:
    Did you figure out a way to fix this?

    Posted on 3 May 2006 at 3:23 am