Internet Explorer 6 Public Preview

UPDATE: You can download the offical release here.
BetaNews has received word on the soon to be available Public Preview of Internet Explorer 6.0. Microsoft currently has set up a bug reporting Web site that confirms Microsoft's plan to release the preview shortly. Internet Explorer 6 will include a slew of new features, including a Personal Bar, an Image Toolbar, Auto Image Resize, Media Bar, Contacts/Instant Messaging Integration and increased Web privacy. Read on for more information.

Here is the complete notes on the upcoming beta:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Public Preview

A New Way of Browsing the Internet

Internet Explorer 6 includes many new and enhanced features that bring a new way
of browsing the Internet. It features a new look and behavior, including
innovative browsing capabilities such as enhanced Explorer bars, integrated
instant messaging, media playback, and automatic picture resizing. Internet
Explorer 6 can also help to maintain the privacy of personal information on the
Web and provide fault collection (error reporting) to identify problems that
need to be fixed in future Internet Explorer Service Packs. Total download size
for a typical installation is approximately 25 megabytes (MB). However, because
setup downloads only those files that are necessary for your computer, this size
may vary between 11 and 75 MB.

What's New in Internet Explorer 6?

Personal Bar
The Personal bar enhances your browsing experience by allowing you to choose
from a variety of individual Explorer bars to display in the Explorer bar pane.
By default you can search the Web, view local and world news, stocks, and
weather from MSNBC, or play music, video, and mixed media files while you browse
the Web. You can further customize the Personal bar by adding both Microsoft and
third-party Explorer bars, such as search engines, calendar tools, sports
reports, and much more.

Image Toolbar
The Image Toolbar feature allows you to quickly and easily save pictures, e-mail
pictures, and print pictures that you find on Web pages. You can also view all
your saved pictures in the My Pictures folder. When you point to pictures on Web
pages, the My Pictures toolbar appears, giving you instant access to My Pictures
functions.

Auto Image Resize
You no longer need to scroll horizontally or vertically to view large pictures.
If pictures are too large to display in the browser window, the new automatic
picture resizing feature resizes the pictures automatically so they fit within
the dimensions of the browser window. In addition, if you navigate to pictures
that fit within the browser window and then you change the window dimensions,
Internet Explorer automatically adjusts the pictures to fit the new window size.
To prevent image distortion, Internet Explorer adjusts both the picture height
and width, even if only a single dimension needs adjusting.

Media Bar
The Media bar offers a seamless Web media experience. It provides a simple user
interface for locating and playing media within the browser window. Expanding on
the basic Radio bar functionality that was included in Internet Explorer 5, the
Media bar provides simple controls that allow you to play music, video, or
mixed-media files without opening a separate window, control the audio volume,
choose which media files or tracks to play, and access different media, such as
favorite CDs or Internet radio stations, on your computer or on the
WindowsMedia.com Web site. (This site is in English.) You can also search for
additional media on the Internet, like locating audio files on popular music
storage Web sites.

Contacts/Instant Messaging Integration

Another new Explorer bar, the Contacts bar, allows MSN Messenger Service members
to use instant messaging features from within the browser window while they surf
the Web. As an MSN Messenger Service member, you see familiar messenger service
features and controls. You are notified when contacts are online and you can
instantly communicate with them over the Internet. You can also send e-mail,
initiate a computer-to-telephone call, or view properties of your Outlook or
Windows Address Book contacts.

Web Privacy

Internet Explorer 6 supports the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), a
standard under development by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that provides
a way for users to control how their personal information is used by Web sites
they visit. Internet Explorer 6 provides simple tools to allow users to control
the information Web sites collect about them, and notifies users when sites
contain third-party content with cookies. This standard helps to protect the
privacy of users' personal information on the Internet by simplifying the
process for deciding whether and under what circumstances personal information
is disclosed to Web sites. Microsoft continues to aid consumers in protecting
privacy on the Internet by building on the current Web privacy features and
providing additional control with future Internet Explorer 6 releases.

Fault Collection
Internet Explorer 6 takes steps to improve Web browser reliability. When the
browser program stops or closes unexpectedly, the browser displays the new
Internet Explorer Error Reporting, rather than the standard error message dialog
box. Internet Explorer Error Reporting provides fault collection services. It
offers to extract information about the Internet Explorer problem and upload the
data to Microsoft for analysis. You can view details about the problem and then
choose whether to transmit the fault information to Microsoft and restart your
computer. If a known problem occurs, a link can be provided to a Service Pack,
hotfix, or Knowledge Base (KB) article. If Microsoft has not previously found or
fixed the problem, the necessary information can be transmitted to a Microsoft
problem database for investigation. This information can help identify potential
problems that Microsoft needs to fix in future Internet Explorer Service Packs.

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