Microsoft Rebrands Internet Explorer 7

Microsoft developers on Friday unveiled a new logo for Internet Explorer 7, along with quietly changing the way the browser is branded. IE7 will now be known as Windows Internet Explorer 7, emphasizing its integration with Windows Vista. IE7 will, however, be released as a standalone upgrade for Windows XP SP2 users.

Although Microsoft has long said that Internet Explorer's days as a standalone product were numbered, vulnerabilities in IE6 and pressure from newfound competitors such as Firefox pushed the company to rethink its strategy. Still, IE7 will not be released for Windows 2000 or older releases of the operating system.

Beta 1 of Internet Explorer 7 was released to MSDN subscribers and beta testers in late July. The browser is expected to bring with it long-awaited features such as tabs, security improvements and better support for CSS and other Web standards.

As part of the update, Microsoft has also polished the IE logo for version 7. "We considered more radical departures from our current logo, but blue "e" with the ring is very recognizable and familiar to users, so we elected instead to make more subtle changes," wrote IE developer Tony Chor.

"The new "e" has more modern look, and the edges are a bit darker so the icon stands out better against different backgrounds. We liked the gold ring too since it brings in new energy and helps the icon pop a bit more than the old one."

The IE7 release for Windows Vista will have a slightly different icon. Chor said that in order to match the overall icon design slated for Microsoft's new operating system, IE7 will feature a slightly different look from its Windows XP SP2 and x64 counterparts.

"We're not quite ready with that one yet, but we'll share it here once we do," Chor promised.

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