Jul 29th, 2005
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 went on a limited beta release today and contains a nasty surprise for some users.
Users with search toolbars from Yahoo! and arch-rival Google have discovered that these vanish. Other third-party toolbars designed to block pop-ups or aid with form filling appear to be working normally.
The default search engine is MSN Search.
There are sound compatibility reasons for Microsoft disabling third-party toolbars in an early cut of the software. The beta is only available to Vista beta testers, and is available either as part of Vista itself or as a download for Windows XP, and affects only a few thousand people.
But it does raise ominous echoes of Microsoft's previous tactics of foreclosing competition by hiding the alternatives available to users. For anti-competive reasons, Microsoft is unlikely to risk such a move in the finished product. We'll have to see.
Microsoft last updated its web browser in August 2001