Internet Explorer 7 is now available as an official release. I recommend it to everyone running Windows XP SP2. Here’s an article about today’s release.

The new browser looks different! Install it when you have a few minutes to find things onscreen that aren’t where you expect them. If you’re the kind of person who will be upset that a button has moved – there’s no rush. Relax. Get used to the idea.

The installation took about fifteen minutes on my computer and required two restarts. This is a major upgrade; close all other programs and leave your computer alone while it’s installing IE7.

During the next few weeks, Microsoft will add IE7 to Automatic Updates, but it will not be installed behind your back. You will be presented with a license agreement before IE7 is installed; it’s unclear how insistent it will be if you decline to install it the first time. You will upgrade eventually; the security improvements and the new features are compelling.

I’m optimistic that this will be a successful upgrade and a stable program for all of you. No guarantees but early signs are good. And for what it’s worth – this final release is very fast indeed. Pages are flying on my screen.

Good luck!

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