Is IE7 really ready for prime time?

Like many people, I’ve upgraded my copy of Internet Explorer to the latest version 7 for Windows XP released last week.

My update happened automatically via Microsoft Update.

I’ve been using the various betas for a while so I didn’t expect anything radically new in the final release. I think it’s a good app especially with tabbed browing and, most of all, its seamless support for RSS.

Yet I wonder whether this release version shouldn’t still be known as a beta.

I’ve had a number of crashes and lock-ups, with the worst behaviour being during a lock-up where IE7 just kept on opening multiple instances of itself. The only way to stop it was hit the off button on the computer.

Then today, I noticed this alert in Basecamp, the collaborative online tool you use with your browser that I’ve been using for a while:

SYSTEM ANNOUNCEMENT: IE 7 compatibility update
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 with Basecamp you may experience some weirdness over the next week or so. Unfortunately every time Microsoft releases a new browser they break a lot of things that worked with their previous version. So we’ll be scrambling with the rest of the web to tighten up support for IE 7 without breaking support for IE 6, Firefox, and Safari. We’re sorry in advance for any issues you experience while using IE 7 with Basecamp.

I have experienced weirdness, eg, various places in Basecamp you upload files to where the dialog that should be there is invisible. Works just fine with Firefox.

These may be glitches on my particular PC, perhaps hangovers from the various betas that I’d been running. IE7 uninstalls previous versions but maybe some things in the registry have remained that interfere with smooth operations.

Whatever it is, I don’t have sufficient confidence to make IE7 my default browser yet. So, I’m sticking with Firefox.

Version 2 of Firefox is due out tomorrow, by the way.

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About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.