I discovered today that Microsoft had released a public beta of IE7 so I decided to have a look. It only runs on XPsp2, so I applied sp2 to an XP image running under VMWare, which only took an hour and 400 reboots. Anyway, once I got the OS to the proper level, I installed the IE7 beta. The first thing you have to do is prove to Microsoft that you are running “genuine” Windows software. I have no idea what got transmitted to Microsoft when I agreed to do this, but apparently it was enough to convince them.
The thing installed in about 10 minutes and then ended with… wait for it… a required reboot! Who would have guessed? Not me… So after rebooting again, I see a nice shiny new IE icon in my quick launch area. Running it brought up the new IE, fairly quickly. I don’t like the new interface at all, and I’ve found a few quirks (just try adding a new search provider by clicking on the “Settings” button next to the description that says “Add or remove search providers” for an example). But the thing that really stuck out for me is that IE still forces you to enter the
http:// protocol when the website you want to visit needs a port number. In other words, instead of being able to just type this
I instead must type
which is insanely annoying since I never type that anymore. (Nor do I ever type “www” unless I absolutely have to because the site in question hasn’t bothered to setup their DNS properly.)
Could someone please explain to me why IE still can’t handle this properly? Firefox can. Opera can. Even Konqueror and Safari can. Heck, even Lynx understands it for Pete’s sake. Why on Earth, with all of the development resources that MS has, can’t they fix this?