Internet Explorer 7 - Good News and Bad News

I have good news and bad news. Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s long abandoned browser project, is finally slated for an upgrade (thanks to Firefox’s 10%+ and growing market share). That’s the good news. That is also the bad news.

If you develop web applications, there’s a better than average chance the next release of IE is going to break them.

These breaks can be minor (formatting errors) or major (things just don’t work). Some things will break because you wrote code to work around IE6’s lousy support for W3C standards that in IE7 has been upgraded to simply below-average support for W3C standards.

There’s a great article on DevSource (Microsoft sponsored site) on the kinds of problems to look for in the upcoming release of IE7. To quote the author, “Based on what I’ve seen so far, unless you’re using pretty much pure HTML on static pages, your application is going to break in some way.”

IE7 is still in beta (Beta 2 was just released recently), so you can probably hold off on compatibility testing for a while. But when the first release candidate comes out, it would be a good idea to grab it and start thrashing your applications.

You can find the article here.