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IE7 will be more secure, but only on XP SP2

Antony Savvas

In the face of stinging criticism about the security of Internet Explorer, Microsoft chief software architect Bill Gates announced details of a more secure Internet Explorer 7.0 - but only for Windows XP Service Pack 2 users.

Launched as a beta this summer, Gates told attendees at this week’s RSA Security conference in San Francisco that version 7.0 would contain new anti-spyware protection, including anti-phishing capabilities.

The latest Explorer version would include Microsoft’s AntiSpyware technology at no additional cost, said Gates.

Explorer is the main target of new security attacks on the internet, partly as a result of it being the market leader in the browser market, but also because of perceived weaknesses in its structure among the hacker community.

But Explorer competitors such as the open-source Firefox are now the subject of increased security attacks too.

"Our primary goal is to improve the security and safety of all our customers - businesses of all size and consumers - through a balance of technology innovation, guidance and industry leadership," Gates said.

"We're committed to continued innovation that addresses the threats of today and anticipates those that will undoubtedly emerge in the future," he said.

Defending the decision to release the new browser to Windows XP Service Pack 2 users only, Gates said more than 170 million copies of XP SP2 had already been distributed around the world.

Launch details of the final version of IE 7.0 were not released by Gates.


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