Microsoft plans to follow its browser rivals and introduce tabbed browsing to its forthcoming Internet Explorer 7.
Internet Explorer 7 main objective is to deliver increased security but Microsoft said it would also be looking to improve user functionality.
Rival browsers Firefox and Opera already provide users with tabbed browsing, and Internet Explorer product manager Dean Hachamovitch said that “basic” tabbed browsing would be available in the beta version of Internet Explorer 7.
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There are already free Internet Explorer 7 plug-ins available on the internet with support for tabbed browsing and other features.
Hachamovitch said Microsoft wasn’t seeking to replace the options already open to users from third parties. But with rivals such as the open source Firefox enjoying rapid take-up partly as a result of its extra functionality, Microsoft is seeking to make up some lost ground.
The beta for Internet Explorer 7 will be available this summer for users of Windows XP Service Pack 2.