Microsoft just released a Beta Preview of Internet Explorer 7. I'm not a fan of IE having long ago switched to Firefox with it's tabbed browsing features and lately have begun to use Flock when writing postsfor my blogs.
Nevertheless, I was curious enough about IE7 that I downloaded the beta version and take it for a test run. If you are interested in checking it out you can get it here. When you go thru the process of downloading the software you will encounter Microsoft's usual user agreement language and validation processes that will result in their eventual "ownership of your soul", but what the heck, I'm feeling fiesty.
This new version of IE offers a spruced up cleaner and smoother looking interface, but aside from that and a nifty RSS toolbar feature, I could not find much else to be excited about this browser. It seems to me that IE and Firefox are starting this cycle of copying from one another, with tabbed browsing, extensions and plugins, but are not adding any significant technical features such as those being introduced by the "social browser" Flock.
Before moving onto Flock, I should note that the Beta Version of IE7, which I should always expect from MS, create problems for my MSWord and an assorted number errors when the download tried to validate my copy of Windows.
As mentioned I use Flock when creating content for my blogs and find their blog editor, shelf and topbar tools very useful. I'm looking forward to an updated version beyond their current offering of Developer Version 0.4.10. Reports are surfacing here and there that a new version is expected sometime the middle of is month.
As of now, I will continue to utilize Firefox mostly because all my extension and plugins are already there and the browser has worked well for me. After previewing the beta version of IE7, I don't see myself being enticed to change browsers, although my feeling is that may eventually change when Flock releases an updated version later this month.
Overall, my feeling is that the browser of the future is more likely to be Flock as opposed to IE7 or Firefox.