IE6 Gets Pseudo Tabbed Browsing

Users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser will not have to wait until IE7 to experience tabbed browsing. MSN has shipped a new build of its MSN Search Toolbar that adds basic tabbed browsing support to IE6. But the feature is not fully integrated into the browser, instead relying on the toolbar to create tabs.

Tabbed browsing capabilities first appeared in beta releases of the MSN Search Toolbar, but were stricken from the final 2.0 build that was released last month.

Microsoft has said it will add fully integrated tabbed browsing into Internet Explorer 7, which is due to be released in beta form at the end of the month. "IE 7 will have tabs, providing end users with a unique tabbed browsing experience separate from MSN's new Toolbar," an MSN spokesperson told BetaNews.

Tabs in IE7 will run in their own process, Microsoft has said, ensuring a single tab cannot crash the entire Web browser.

The MSN toolbar suite bundles three separate toolbars: one for Microsoft Outlook, a toolbar for Windows and Internet Explorer, and a toolbar for the Windows taskbar. Added features include a pop-up blocker, form fill functions to make browsing more convenient, and built-in desktop search functionality.

Windows Desktop Search indexes e-mail messages, appointments, documents, multimedia files, and other popular formats. Plug-ins are available to add more supported file types such as Adobe PDF.

Microsoft faces competition from Google, Yahoo, America Online, and other companies that have produced their own desktop search software.

Yahoo licenses desktop search technology from Idea Labs' X1 and AOL uses technology from Copernic. Recently, Google moved beyond the consumer market, releasing an enterprise desktop search solution.

MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search may be downloaded from FileForum.

Nate Mook contributed to this report.

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