Microsoft revealed some key features of its forthcoming Internet Explorer 7 browser at last week's Microsoft Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles.
A key driver behind the launch of the new browser is to give users more protection against potential security threats, Microsoft also wants to give users greater functionality, to rival features already on offer from the likes of the open source Firefox browser.
Additional features, including Quick Tabs and Page Zoom, were discussed at the conference.
Quick Tabs allows users to view and manage tabs, with a live thumbnail view of all tabs. Page Zoom allows users to zoom in on web page text and graphics.
IE 7 will also allow users to disable some or all ActiveX controls in the browser. These controls are usually used by attackers to plant malicious code on users' machines.
The first beta of IE 7 was released this summer and the second beta is due later this year.
Microsoft also told developers at the conference that data mirroring will not be included in the November launch of its SQL Server 2005 database.
The company delivered a final developer community technology preview of SQL Server 2005, and confirmed that the promised feature of data mirroring will not be available until next year.
Data mirroring improves database availability by copying one database onto another, and offers companies failover protection for their data.
Microsoft is conducting further tests into SQL Server's mirroring facility and expects to make it available to users in the first half of 2006.