Security tops new features in latest Internet Explorer

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser is due out this month with a range of new features for business users.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser is due out this month with a range of new features for business users.

The browser has enhanced security features and can run in a protected mode that limits the software's access to other data stored on the system.

In previous versions, malicious users have taken advantage of Explorer's openness to other Microsoft software to access user files via a compromised browser.

The application also comes with an integrated phishing filter that prevents users from accessing known phishing websites.

Internet Explorer 7 will be made available as a free download to Windows XP users and will be bundled with the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system.

It includes tabbed browsing, which is already supported on the rival Netscape and Firefox browsers, and a way to make it easier to clear the browser's history setting. The interface has a new look, which Microsoft described as "streamlined".

Internet Explorer 7 also supports RSS feeds, which can deliver personalised news and other data to the browser interface. Multiple search engines are supported and the browser will shrink text so that it is easier to print.

Dale Vile, research director at analyst firm Freeform Dynamics, said businesses would welcome the enhancements to Internet Explorer.

Vile, who has been using Release Candidate 1 of the browser for three months, said, "Microsoft has done a good job in isolating the vulnerabilities with the protected mode and other security features."

He said Internet Explorer 7 was more stable than version 6. "However, there are one or two compatibility problems," he said.

According to web traffic monitoring firm Net Applications, Internet Explorer is the most widely used web browser, with 82.1% of users around the world. The second most used browser is Mozilla's open source Firefox, with 12.5% of the market.

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