The Internet Explorer blog recently announced that IE7 will be released sometime in October. I’m not sure how much of a coincidence it is but Mozilla still has plans to release Firefox 2 on October 24, which could be very close to the IE7 release.
Mozilla has had a few setbacks along the way that caused the Firefox 2 release to be pushed back to October 24, nearly a month after its original date. They have been working hard to prevent further delays and the most recent milestone, Firefox 2 RC2, has been extremely stable for most people. They do still want to get some more bugs ironed out so they will be making another release candidate available before the final launch.
Despite the October launch of Internet Explorer 7 it will not be delivered via Automatic Updates until a few weeks after the final version is available. That means a majority of computer users will not be notified of the release until sometime in November. I am sure that is to watch for any unexpected bugs before the less tech-savvy people get their hands on it and start loading it down with toolbars and spyware.
While both Mozilla and Microsoft will have completely revamped web browsers available to the public I think it will be Internet Explorer 7 that is talked about the most. If you compare the two new browsers to their predecessors it is definitely IE that has the most changes…despite many of them already existing in Firefox (the most obvious being the tabs). The Firefox 2 launch will be big but I think it could have been even bigger if IE7 wasn’t going to be released for a few more months.
Download Internet Explorer 7 RC1 (Windows XP SP2 only)