Finally got round to trying Internet Explorer 7 beta 2 preview after reading a SitePoint newsletter article on how to run it as a stand alone unit alongside IE6, so it didn’t have to be installed and I could check my sites.

  1. Download and save the beta EXE but don’t run it. It’s a self-extracting, self-installing ZIP file; we want to do this manually.
  2. Create a new folder called ‘IE7’.
  3. Right-click on the EXE and scroll down to ‘Extract to…’ for Winzip. If you don’t use Winzip, this process should work in your decompression software of choice.
  4. Extract everything to your ‘IE7’ folder, making sure you keep the folder structure intact by keeping ‘Use folder names’ checked.
  5. Open your ‘IE7’ folder, right-click inside the folder and scroll to ‘New/Text Document.
  6. Rename that file to ‘iexplore.exe.local‘. Make sure you’re changing the file’s format, not just renaming your text document to ‘iexplore.exe.local.txt‘.
  7. That’s it. Run ‘iexplore.exe’ in that folder — do not run ‘iesetup.exe’, which will initiate the full install.

Pretty easy to do, so it was done of course I should have figured in the MS factor – things don’t go that easy and they don’t like you doing things that don’t involve their full control.

So I ran it, bit buggy, some strange things, checked the sites hmmmm (more on that later) OK. Then I fired up IE6 and things got stranger all of a sudden 56 IE windows opened after an error message about some token popped up 😯

Little searching finds that the “standalone” IE7 does actually install something – a nice little registry entry.

SitePoint now has a semi-fix for this (shortened version from here).

So if you want to see what teh interweb will look like for a large percentage of users in the future you can…but be warned…

Anyway the sites and Ennio strikes up the theme to the “Good, The Bad & The Ugly”, suppose it had to be expected the more complex the css layout the more chance of errors, mainly down to the amount of hacks to get round browsers in current use.

Simple sites – Les Paul Info, Fender Telecaster Info, Fender Stratocaster Info and ClickBank Search seem OK.

Toxic Web has huge gap at the bottom of the page and massive horizontal scrolling with a few more problems about.

Mikes Guitar Site‘s layout is totally screwed up columns seem to have been horizontally expanded so they’re all shifted under each other instead of side by side.

And Jon Rauhouse looks like the worse, well it is probably the most complex, quite a few hacks and already separate style sheets for IE and other browsers.

Ah well all to worry about later when they finally getting round to getting a version somewhere in the region of being releasable in non test mode, which of course will be still full of bugs – and then there’s the time for it to take a hold in the market after all folks don’t seem to update that often.

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