(Migrated weblog post from LSR)
A few days ago InformationWeek mentioned that the upcoming version of Internet Explorer 7 would be introducing basic Tabbing features. I am sure that everybody thought that it was about time that IE thought about trying to improve itself over what has been happening with other popular browsers like FireFox or Opera where they have been improving their browsers over and over again. It looks like now it is the turn of IE.
But hang on we don’t have to wait for IE 7 to become available in order to have this neat feature. Apparently tabbed browsing is already available for IE 6 (According to CNET), that is, as long as you install the latest version of the MSN Search Toolbar. I must say that my first reaction was of content to see that IE is seriously thinking there is a threat with other browsers gaining more and more ground to the market share IE has, but then I thought that this may have been a nice trick to lure end-users into downloading and installing the MSN Search Toolbar, because it may not be as popular as they expect it would be.
At least, that is what happened to me, because I did want to check out the tabbed browsing experiencing within IE, without having to have other applications running on top of it (Like Avant Browser), and therefore it forced me to install the MSN Search Toolbar. Something I was not very pleased with, since I have got already a couple of other tools to help out with the search of my machine files but still that is the price I had to pay in order to see the new feature.
And now that I saw it I must say that although I liked the options put in place with regards to the tab browsing, specially to remember the last tabs I have opened previously, I still think it fails to come together at the same level of Opera or FireFox where this feature is a whole lot more user friendly and with some further additional functionality. As a starter I may be missing something but where is the keyboard shortcut to create a new tab in IE 6? Have a I missed something or they have not included it and therefore keyboard fanatics like myself have now got to use the mouse to click in order to get a new tab. Nice ! … Well, not really.
I guess that when in Informationweek they mentioned it would be a basic feature for IE 7 I guess they were not far off from the truth, at least, that is what is showing up now with IE 6, where tabbed browsing is still in the beginnings. I guess I will have to go back and continue enjoying Opera‘s tab browsing, hoping that I may be able to see some further improvements in future versions of IE, now that the basics have been covered. We shall see what happens. And not too far long in time actually.